Surterra taps new CFO from Kellogg, continuing cannabis hiring trend

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Surterra Wellness, a fast-growing marijuana company based in Atlanta, on Tuesday announced it hired a highly paid executive from the Kellogg Co. as chief financial officer.

Fareed Khan, the latest Kellogg exec to leave the Fortune 500 company for the cannabis sector, will be in charge of corporate finance, investor relations, taxes and shared services for Surterra.

He earned total compensation of roughly $3.1 million in 2018 before leaving Kellogg for Surterra, which recently closed on a $100 million share offering.

Khan replaces current Surterra CFO James Whitcomb, who will take over the firms’ executive director of corporate development.

Khan is the third major executive to join the cannabis industry from Kellogg, a consumer packaged goods (CPG) firm that has a market cap of about $18.6 billion.

He was preceded in his move to the cannabis sector by:

  • Paul Norman, who in June was hired as CEO of Heavenly Rx, a Toronto-based CBD subsidiary of Sol Global.
  • Deanie Elsner, who in April was appointed as CEO of Boulder, Colorado-based CEO company Charlotte’s Web.

Surterra has a number of executives with CPG backgrounds, including Executive Director Ed Brown, a former CEO of The Patron Spirits liquor company.