The co-founder of CDA Health and ex-chief medical officer of Vitura Health, Ben Jansen, has resumed hostilities with his former employer after putting himself forward as a director of the company 12 months after his acrimonious departure.
Jansen is one of four individuals seeking election to the board at next month’s annual general meeting following a resolution tabled by his wife, Elizabeth, who is trustee of Standard Investment Trust, one of Vitura’s largest shareholders.
Among the others bidding for a directorship is former chairman Shane Tanner who resigned in April 2022 to “pursue private investments”.
The other two candidates have been named as Nathan Hight and Mariota Smutz.
The resolution will irritate Vitura’s senior management team which had to fight off similar efforts to reshape the board in the run up to last year’s AGM.
On that occasion, Dr Jansen’s cousin, Matua Jansen, tabled a motion to remove chief executive Rodney Cocks and fellow director Guy Headley, while Elizabeth Jansen sought the re-election of her husband who had departed the company amid allegations of “a repeated pattern of inappropriate behaviour, lack of judgment and poor performance”.
Elizabeth Jansen dropped her resolution at the 11th hour with both parties – the Jansens and Vitura – voicing “regret” that the relationship “had started to erode”.
“Moving forward, Cronos Australia (now Vitura) and Benjamin Jansen are both committed to seeing the company develop and grow into a global leader in the medicinal cannabis industry and beyond,” the company said at the time.
Jansen, quoted in The Australian in relation to the current attempt to rejoin the company, said: “In the forthcoming years, steadfast governance will be imperative as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry, all in pursuit of delivering maximum value to our stakeholders and shareholders. No further comments are warranted at this juncture.”
Cannabiz has separately approached Dr Jansen and Vitura for comment.