CannTrust’s CEO didn’t just lose his job, he likely lost $8.2 million in stock options

CannTrust’s CEO didn’t just lose his job, he likely lost $8.2 million in stock options

Peter Aceto didn’t just lose his job as head of CannTrust Holdings Inc.: he likely lost out on about $8.2 million in stock options, among the highest pay packages in the pot sector.

CannTrust fired Aceto, and chairman Eric Paul was asked to resign Thursday after a Globe and Mail report cited internal emails showing the executives were aware that pot was being grown in unlicensed rooms about seven months before Health Canada unearthed the breach.

Aceto’s stock options will likely be canceled, as typically happens when an executive is fired with cause. Even if they’re not canceled, the options remain well under water following the recent stock plunge related to the licensing scandal.

According to the options awarded to Aceto when he joined the company in October, a third were to be vested annually in one-third increments, with two-thirds to be vested based on achieving share price milestones of $15 to $25 over three years. CannTrust traded at about $3 on Friday, well short of Aceto’s strike price of $11.88 for his 1 million options.

Aceto’s pay package trailed Brendan Kennedy among major pot company executives. The Tilray Inc. CEO was awarded total compensation of US$256 million in 2018, ranking him second to Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk at US$513 million, among pay tracked by Bloomberg. By comparison, former Canopy Growth Ltd. CEO Bruce Linton was awarded $2.5 million and Michael Gorenstein at Cronos Group Inc. was granted $824,842. Terry Booth at Aurora Cannabis Inc. was awarded $1.6 million, according to company filings. Read more

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