Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. has named William (Bill) Morachnick as chief executive officer, succeeding Jacques Tortoroli, who resigned from his roles at the company after not receiving support in a shareholder election earlier this year.

Morachnick has also been appointed to Charlotte’s Web Board of Directors as a non-independent director. 

Morachnick served as president at Santa Fe Reynolds Tobacco International (SFRTI) GmbH in Zurich, Switzerland, an international business division of Reynolds American, Inc., from 2006 to 2016. He took SFRTI from a startup to a profitable organization, managing several hundred employees and a network of importers/distributors operating in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. SFRTI was acquired by Japan Tobacco Group in 2016 for $5 billion. Morachnick led the subsequent integration of the combined companies as CEO and chairman, based in Tokyo, Japan for two years, before returning to the U.S. in 2018.

Since returning to the U.S., Morachnick has served as an executive advisor or board member for several companies seeking to launch or expand their businesses in the U.S. and overseas markets. 

Morachnick has a Masters of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and is an adjunct professor of global business strategy at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

"Bill has an accomplished career building businesses in multiple categories," said John Held, chairman of Charlotte's Web. "With his proven operational expertise, Bill is well-suited to take the reins to lead the Charlotte's Web team through the next phase of the company's growth opportunities."

Held, Tortoroli, Thomas Lardieri and Alicia Morga did not receive the requisite majority of votes at Charlotte’s Web’s annual meeting of shareholders on June 15. In line with the company's majority voting policy, these directors tendered offers to resign. Charlotte’s Web’s board referred the offers to a committee of independent board members for consideration.

The committee determined that there were “exceptional circumstances that warranted rejecting the directors’ resignation offers,” Charlotte’s Web reported in a news release. The company’s board accepted the committee’s recommendation to reject the resignation offers.

Before the election, brothers Jesse and Joel Stanley, co-founders of Charlotte’s Web, urged shareholders to withhold votes for the directors. They called for a board shakeup in light of falling revenue and low share prices.

Charlotte’s Web said the objective of the majority voting policy is improvement of corporate governance standards.

“The withhold campaign launched by the activist shareholders, however, was not aligned with those objectives,” the company said. “The withhold campaign was instead designed to circumvent the procedures and processes in place to allow shareholders to vote based on full and complete disclosure with respect to director nominees and to make an informed decision with respect to the election of directors to the board.”

Held extended gratitude to Tortoroli for his service to Charlotte’s Web. 

‎"Jacques served on the company's board since November of 2019, and as CEO since late 2021 in a difficult environment devoid of regulatory oversight and clarity,” Held said. “Under his leadership as CEO, Jacques streamlined the organization, reduced the cash burn and recapitalized the company through a strategic $57 million investment from BAT via a convertible loan. He was instrumental in the successful launch of ReCreate, the world's first NSF certified for Sport broad-spectrum CBD, which is the official CBD of Major League Baseball. We are grateful to Jacques for his valuable contributions.”