Former AstraZeneca exec Peter Koetsier to lead Cann Group

Former AstraZeneca exec Peter Koetsier to lead Cann Group

Incoming Cann Group CEO Peter Koetsier (Provided).

Less than two months after announcing that Peter Crook would be stepping down as top boss, medicinal cannabis company Cann Group (ASX: CAN) has appointed Peter Koetsier as its new CEO from 16 January.

The incoming executive held senior positions at AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb prior to his six-year stint at French biopharmaceutical company Ipsen, where he most recently served as the head of Asia Pacific.

With more than 30 years of leadership experience, Koetsier will receive a fixed annual remuneration of $350,000 for the new role, plus incentives that could take his pay packet up to $490,000. He will also acquire 4.5 million shares through the company's employee options scheme.

“I have a strong interest in new therapeutic areas and see tremendous potential for medicinal cannabis,” Koetsier said.

“Cann has established a genetics and production/manufacturing base that is world class. The opportunity, now, is to capitalise on those assets and drive profitable growth.”

Founded in 2017, Melbourne-based Cann Group supplies high-THC dried flowers as both an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and finished product, as well as a range of extracts and oral oils to business-to-business (B2B) customers in Australia, Germany and the UK.

Serving as CEO for six years, Crock led the group through its initial public offering (IPO), as well as a capital raise worth more than $70 million last year. He will leave behind a legacy of production sites - including a flagship $115 million Mildura facility which notched its first commercial crop harvest in 2022.

The company grows its own crop and produces CBD capsules at the facility, branded as Satipharm after the European group it acquired from Canada's Harvest One Cannabis Inc in early 2021.

Cann Group is now looking to consolidate the majority of its operations at the Mildura site after reaching terms with Australian medical cannabis company SatiVite two weeks ago to offload its southern cultivation and manufacturing facility for $5.48 million.

Cann Group chairman Allan McCallum AO said Koetsier’s appointment followed an extensive search process which identified a number of very strong candidates for the Cann CEO role.

Koetsier has completed a bachelor’s degree in science (pharmacology, immunology) and a diploma in education (science, biology) from Monash University, in addition to being a graduate of the INSEAD CEDEP General Management Program.

“Peter is an experienced pharma industry executive with an established track record of driving strong revenue growth in complex and changing environments,” McCallum said.

“His experience and skills are ideally suited to the needs of Cann and to meeting the opportunities that continue to develop within the medicinal cannabis industry.”

Cann Group is also a regular appearance in the list of Australia's Top 20 Cannabis Companies, in which it was ranked fourth in 2022.

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