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Leafly removes CEO Chris Jeffery, less than one year after he joined marijuana review startup

Seattle-based marijuana strain and dispensary review startup Leafly says it removed CEO Chris Jeffery on Monday.

Privateer Holdings, the Seattle marijuana investment firm that acquired Leafly in 2011, confirmed Jeffery’s departure in a statement but declined to provide details surrounding the decision.

GeekWire has contacted Jeffery for comment. Responding to our inquiry, the company issued this statement from Zack Hutson, Privateer Holdings vice president of corporate affairs.

“This morning the Board of Directors of Leafly removed Chris Jeffrey from his role as Chief Executive Officer. The Board made the decision to replace Mr. Jeffrey as CEO after careful consideration due to concerns about his management of the company. The Board has full confidence in Leafly’s senior leadership team and has initiated a search for a new CEO. Out of respect for CJ and the contributions he has made to Leafly, we are not going to go into detail about the circumstances surrounding his departure. Leafly is experiencing rapid growth with more than 150 employees on the ground in 5 countries and 7 states. The health of Leafly’s business and the strength of the company’s team are stronger than ever before. Leafy has positive momentum and we have never been more excited about the global growth prospects in front of the company.”

Privateer Holdings founders and an HR executive addressed the company about the leadership change Monday morning but did not disclose details, according to one employee.

Jeffery arrived at Leafly in November 2017, replacing former CEO Drew Reynolds, who joined Privateer Holdings as its COO last year. Jeffery previously founded and led OrderUp, a web and mobile food ordering startup acquired by Groupon in 2015 for $69 million.

Shortly after Jeffery joined Leafly, the company cut about 15 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce.

Leafly was founded in 2010 by Cy ScottBrian Wansolich, and Scott Vickers, all of whom left the company to launch another Seattle-area marijuana company, Headset.

Leafly is one of four companies in Privateer Holdings’ portfolio. The firm made headlines last week when Tilray, its Canadian medical cannabis producer, saw its market capitalization reach $20 billion just months after the company began trading on NASDAQ. Privateer Holdings has raised more than $200 million.

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