Ascend Wellness names interim CEOs

Dawn Furnas//September 28, 2022

Ascend Wellness names interim CEOs

Dawn Furnas//September 28, 2022

Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc., which operates cannabis dispensaries in several states, including three in New Jersey, announced Sept. 28 it appointed two interim CEOs, effective immediately. 

Chief Financial Officer Daniel Neville and President and Co-founder Frank Perullo have been named interim co-CEOs and will provide leadership and oversight of the company’s day-to-day operations during the search for a permanent chief executive officer. 

Ascend simultaneously announced CEO, Chairman and Co-founder Abner Kurtin will transition to executive chairman of the board.  

Ascend Wellness Holdings in Montclair
Ascend Wellness operates three cannabis dispensaries in New Jersey. – CFC

On Sept. 6, the company issued a statement saying it was “aware of allegations against [Kurtin] regarding a domestic-related misdemeanor.” It also said the board was investigating the matter at that time with the assistance of independent legal counsel Goodwin Procter LLP. 

NJBIZ reached out to Ascend about the investigation, but it did not comment further on it.

“AWH has an incredibly strong foundation in place and remains well positioned to advance the goal of breaking down traditional walls in the cannabis marketplace and redefining the industry from the ground up,” the board said in a prepared statement. “As the company prepares to enter the next phase of its growth story, the board determined that now was the right time to initiate this transition.” 

Neville joined AWH as senior vice president of finance in March 2019 and was promoted to CFO in August 2020. He previously worked for SLS Capital and Credit Suisse and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University. 

After its founding, Perullo spent the first three years with AWH as chief strategy officer, leading the company’s retail expansion strategy and building out its footprint. Previously, he was a strategic consultant for multinational corporations and founded Novus Group and Sage Systems.