Canadian marijuana producer and distributor Canopy Growth (CGC) - Get Report on Wednesday announced that co-founder Bruce Linton will be stepping down as co-CEO and as a board member, effective immediately. Linton told CNBC that he had been fired.
"I think this is more of a transition of philosophy in management and not much more than that," Linton told the network. He added earlier in a statement that "the board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over.
"I was terminated," Linton added, when pressed.
Mark Zekulin, Canopy Growth's other co-CEO, will become sole CEO of the company, and will assist in the search for a new CEO, the company said in a statement. Rade Kovacevic, who currently leads the company's Canadian operations, will assume the role of president.
Linton wished Zekulin his best, saying in his statement that "Mark has been my partner since this company began and has played an integral role in Canopy's success. While change is never easy, I have full confidence in the team at Canopy -- from Mark and Rade's leadership to the full suite of leadership -- as we progress through this transition and into the future."
Canopy Growth has become a leader in medical and recreational cannabis markets in Canada and globally. The company recently received a C$5 billion ($4.3 billion) investment from alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Report .
Separately, the company announced that its board also has appointed John Bell as chairman, to be reviewed at the board's annual meeting in September when new board members are elected. Bell has served on the board as lead director for five years.
Shares of Canopy Growth opened down nearly 5% on the New York Stock Exchange, though later recovered, trading at $40.03 by late morning.
(This story has been updated.)