Marijuana Business Magazine - February 2018

NEW HlRES & PROMOTlONS A look at some recent hiring moves in the marijuana industry By Omar Sacirbey & Movers Shakers Know Your Skill Set Tripp Keber’s decision late last year to leave his post as CEO of Dixie Brands, the trailblazing Den- ver infused-products company he co-founded in 2010, caught market observers by surprise. But it was a decision that was 14 months in the making, and it reflected both humility and ego, according to Keber. It started when Keber, a self-described serial entre- preneur, read an article in the Harvard Business Review titled “Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Scale.” It made Keber nauseous and got him thinking: After seven years as CEO of Dixie, should he still be leading the company? “I woke up one day and started feeling anxious because I knew what my skill sets were and, more impor- tantly, I knew what my weaknesses were. Fake it till you make it is OK to a point. But at the end of the day I have as much to lose as any other investor or team member within my company,” Keber said, noting that he still owns Dixie’s license. “I don’t mean to brag, but it takes a lot of humility to admit that I needed to step back.” But he didn’t just get up and go. “The initial dialogue wasn’t, ‘Hey, I’m leaving.’ It started with, ‘I don’t think I’m the right man to be the chief executive officer,’” Keber said. “I just didn’t think that I had the appropriate skill sets or the past professional experience to run a company that was growing week over week, month over month.” After figuring out he was no longer in the right place, Keber had to figure out where the right place was. “What I didn’t want to be is a footnote. This is where ego comes in – and I do have one – and I still fundamentally believe … that I still have a lot to offer this industry.” The right place to be, for Keber, turned out to be New York City-based Rose Capital, a Dixie investor and whose partners Keber had gotten to be very close with. Keber took a “leadership role” with a new Rose affiliate, BR Brands, and is tasked with identifying infused-products companies that would make good acquisitions. What Tripp Keber 106 • Marijuana Business Magazine • February 2018