April 1, 2019 – Executive search firm Protis Global has placed Joe Bayern as president of INDUS Holding Co. Mr. Bayern will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Salinas, CA-based cannabis company, reporting to Robert Weakley, founder and chief executive officer, and the board of directors.
Mr. Bayern joins INDUS from global beverage company VOSS of Norway. In his eight years as CEO and chief operating officer, Mr. Bayern led a turnaround strategy that nearly quadrupled sales and positioned VOSS as a globally recognized brand. “His leadership and strategic thinking will now elevate INDUS to a lifestyle leader in the regulated cannabis space,” said INDUS.
“Joe’s experience, insight, and attitude aligns perfectly with our brand and organizational strategy,” said Mr. Weakley. “We have grown at an exponential rate over the past year, adding new products and partnering with game-changing technology platforms to help us reach consumers. Having a game-changer like Joe at the helm of our organization will lead us into uncharted territories of success.”
Mr. Bayern previously served as senior vice president and managing director for Author Solutions, a self-publishing company. He also spent 15 years playing an integral role in several large-scale business transformations as a chief strategy officer and chief operations officer, playing a part in the successful turnaround of Snapple and the changeover of Cadbury into a singularly focused confectionary leader, said INDUS.
Bert Miller, founder and CEO of Miami-based Protis Global, described the hire as another positive step for Mr. Weakley. Vertically integrated, INDUS Holding Co.’s capabilities include cannabis cultivation, extraction and manufacturing, brand sales, marketing and distribution.
“As we continue to look forward to this industry, the future goes well beyond cultivation,” said Mr. Miller. “The companies that can quickly become real executional CPG companies with ‘brands’ will be the ultimate winners and INDUS is taking a leading role becoming one of those winning companies.”
Protis Global, which has partnered with INDUS Holding Co for two years, is now the exclusive search firm for the company, working directly with Mr. Weakley, said the recruiting firm. Protis Global has been involved in building out various leadership roles within INDUS Holding Co., including the head of sales and head of manufacturing roles.
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Vernon Davis, partner and senior vice president of business development for Protis Global, said the search firm is uniquely positioned for finding and placing top talent in the Cannabis space. “We have a very obvious competitive advantage,” said Mr. Davis. “We have been placing top professionals in the food and beverage, fast-moving consumer goods, space for more than 20 years prior to jumping into the cannabis industry. Our access to top talent that is qualified and wants to be in cannabis is unmatched. This experience has been an amazing advantage for our clients.”
Founded in 2014 by Mr. Weakley, a hospitality industry veteran, INDUS provides physical warehousing and delivery to licensed retail cannabis dispensary customers for its manufactured products, as well as brands distributed on behalf of third parties. INDUS is rooted in hospitality, committed to transparency, working within the regulations of a growing market and partnering with state and industry leaders, said the company. Its leadership team is comprised of executives from backgrounds that include law enforcement, food and beverage, technology, sales and marketing, and finance.
Protis Global, an affiliate of MRI Network, specializes in the consumer, food and beverage; cannabis and hospitality industries.
Earlier this year, the firm placed Bob Rubin as the new president for Therabis, a maker of cannabidiol (CBD) wellness products for pets. The Denver-based company is a subsidiary of Dixie Brands. Mr. Rubin previously served as CEO and president for Solid Gold Pet, a natural and holistic pet food company. In that role, he repositioned the brand and led expansion into China. “His focus and passion for wellness within the pet industry is inherent and something that bleeds through in his leadership,” said Protis Global.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media