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Aurora Cannabis Tanks as Top Executive Departs

Aurora Cannabis is reeling from a C-suite shakeup Monday.
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Aurora Cannabis  (ACB) - Get Aurora Cannabis Inc. Report shares took a big hit Monday after the company announced that its Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley was stepping down from his position.

Battley, who joined the company in 2016, was named chief corporate officer in 2018. Aurora credited Battley with pushing the company to become one of the world’s leading medical cannabis companies.

"Our roots run deep, and Cam has been an integral part of the development, growth and expansion of Aurora," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. "We are grateful for Cam's leadership and passion over his many years with Aurora. I am sure Cam will be successful as he moves on to tackle Australia."

Battley was appointed to MedReleaf Australia’s board of directors in November. The Australian medical cannabis company was established in 2016.

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Battley’s move does not end his relationship with Aurora, however, as the company holds a 10% stake and 50% voting rights in MedReleaf Australia.

The news led MKM analyst Bill Kirk to reiterate his sell rating while lowering his price target to C$2 from C$3 while noting that this is the third major management shakeup in the cannabis space in 2019 following the resignation of Canopy Growth  (CGC) - Get Canopy Growth Corporation Report CEO and co-founder Bruce Linton and Aphria’s  (APHA) - Get Aphria Inc Report former CEO Vic Neufeld.

“The sudden departure, during a period of insider selling, dwindling cash to cover payables, and sector turmoil does not send a strong message to investors,” said Kirk.

Aurora also was reeling from news that one of its directors sold 57% of his holdings in the company.

Aurora shares were falling 9.56% to $2.03 on Monday.