Ecofibre has announced the departure of managing director and chief executive Eric Wang after seven years in the role.

In a brief statement, the company said Wang tendered his resignation which was accepted by the board.

He will leave the company immediately.

Wang joined Ecofibre in 2016 – on the invitation of then-chairman Barry Lambert – as chief financial officer before taking the CEO reigns the following year.

His resignation comes several days after the firm’s annual general meeting where Wang admitted the company had struggled to deliver for shareholders.

In FY23 it reported a headline loss of almost A$40m and a normalised loss of $19.4m as it restructured operations. The result followed a tough FY22 amid difficult trading conditions for both its Ananda Health and Ananda Food divisions.

The disappointing results continued into FY24 with the firm’s Hemp Black business down 31% in Q1 and Ananda Health sales falling 28% due to a flat performance in the US and lower volumes in Australia.

Ananda Food did show promise though, with sales up 196%.

“The last several years have been financially challenging and I have tested shareholders’ patience,” he said at last week’s AGM. “However, I assure you that you have a highly committed management team with skin in the game focused on delivering our cashflow-positive plan and regaining your trust and confidence.”   

In the statement of resignation issued this morning, Wang said: “I would like to thank all of my fellow shareholders, staff and leadership team, and directors for all of their support and commitment over the past seven years.”

Chair Vanessa Wallace praised Wang for his “unwavering commitment and drive… in building and growing the company”.

Wallace will step into the CEO and MD roles on an interim basis while a search for Wang’s replacement takes place.

Wang told Cannabiz in 2022 that he and Lambert shared common ground in their attitudes to business – that it is results driven.

“Barry and I have always been the same, we don’t like the bullshit because shareholders are smarter than that,” he said. “You can hype something and the share price may jump for two days, but it will come right back down again.”

He added: “I have been very fortunate to have a good shareholder base and a board that worked with me. But patience does run thin, there’s no doubt about that, and it is my job to deliver.”

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...

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