NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – Columbia Care Inc., one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers and providers of medical and adult-use cannabis products in the United States, has hired Derek Watson as chief financial officer. Watson brings more than 30 years of finance and leadership experience to the role, including in strategy, investor relations, information technology, tax, treasury, accounting, financial planning and analysis, operational improvement, and risk management.
“The search for our new CFO was a highly selective and competitive process,” Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita said. “This role is pivotal to our growth and will be the most important leadership position as we navigate what the future holds for banking, investments and funding in the cannabis industry. We have found the right match in Derek and are thrilled to welcome him on board next week. His decades of experience will serve him well, and his hands-on dedication to collaboration and innovation are exactly what we need in a CFO to take us into the next phase of our company.”
Vita added, “We are extremely grateful to Michael Livingstone for stepping in as interim CFO, and to our entire finance team for supporting this transition.”
Prior to joining Columbia Care, Watson served as the chief financial and commercial officer at Tastes on the Fly, a private equity-backed, national consumer retail company based in California. He has also held CFO roles at two other consumer companies, Starr Restaurants and Samba Brands, and as CFO and VP of strategic initiatives at Schindler Elevator, the U.S. subsidiary of Schindler Holding AG.
Watson began his career at KPMG where he spent 20 years providing audit and consulting services, including as a partner and practice leader, and served private and Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries while based in London, Prague, New York and Philadelphia.
“Columbia Care is already a leader in this evolving industry and has significant long-term growth opportunities,” Watson said. “I am privileged to join an innovative leadership team focused on expanding its market presence, and I look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to drive continued success.”
Watson is a fellow at the Culinary Institute of America, a board member with the Queen Elizabeth Memorial Garden in New York and has served as a board adviser to several entrepreneurial start-ups. Watson is a chartered accountant with the ICAEW, holds an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from Kingston University, London, and an MBA from Columbia University.