Cronos Australia chief executive Rodney Cocks and executive director Guy Headley have comfortably survived an attempt to remove them from the company after shareholders voted overwhelmingly to retain the leadership team.
A resolution brought by Matua Jansen, the cousin of former Cronos director Ben Jansen, to oust the pair received only minimal support at the firm’s annual general meeting this morning.
Only 12% of shareholder votes backed their removal with close to 90% rejecting the resolution.
A vote to change the name of the company to Vitura Health was almost unanimously supported.
Matua Jansen, who holds 9.93% of the company’s shares through the Whanau Family Trust, had argued there should be “complete separation of the board and executive management”.
The resolution – while always likely to fail – was effectively doomed after Cronos Australia and Ben Jansen publicly patched up their differences ahead of the AGM, ending an increasingly hostile stand off between the two parties.
Jansen parted ways with Cronos in September with the company later alleging “a repeated pattern of inappropriate behaviour, lack of judgment and poor performance”.
It prompted Jansen’s wife Elizabeth, acting as a trustee for the Stanford Investment Trust – Cronos’s largest shareholder – to issue a statement accusing Cocks and Headley of receiving excessive pay packets in a management structure that, she claimed, created a conflict of interest and “nepotism”.
Elizabeth Jansen initially proposed a resolution calling for the reinstatement of her husband as a director before withdrawing the plans in October.
Following 11th hour talks between the parties, she also withdrew her statement and pledged to support the board’s recommendations – which included the retention of both Cocks and Headley.
In a statement issued 24 hours before the AGM, Cronos said both parties regretted recent events.
“The company and Benjamin Jansen acknowledge that their previous statements may have caused offence to each other, and both parties regret that the relationship between them had started to erode,” it said.
“However, moving forward, Cronos Australia and Benjamin Jansen are both committed to seeing the company develop and grow into a global leader in the medicinal cannabis industry and beyond.”
Cronos added: “The parties are pleased to have been able to reach a positive resolution to these matters, enabling the board and management to focus on executing the company’s strategic objectives.
“Both parties thank each other for the positive work they have done in resolving their differences. The company wishes Benjamin and Elizabeth Jansen the very best in their future endeavours.”