SAN FRANCISCO, CA— Just hours after WeWork CEO Adam Neumann was ousted from his position, the chief executive of Juul Kevin Burns has stepped down after he was found peddling the company’s vape pods to teens on a street corner near a local high school.
“I’m not proud of what I did, but we’re seriously hurting for revenue and I was trying to help us meet our 15% quarterly growth benchmark,” said the ex-CEO in an exclusive interview with Business Outsider.
“All of this negative press and federal involvement in our business has been a major distraction and stunted our growth” he said frustrated after taking an extended drag from a Juul-branded vape.
Juul’s new CEO will be an executive from Altria, the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes and a minority shareholder of the startup.
“I am excited to be joining Juul as CEO, and looking forward to innovating in the tobacco and vaping markets. Altria is an industry leader in tobacco products, and I plan to diversify Juul’s vaping products with new takes on Altria’s classic cigarettes and cigars,” said the executive in a recent press release.
At press time, Mr. Burns could be seen moving boxes filled with stolen Juul products into an unmarked van, presumably to scale his underground vape pod business and sell to more local teens and young adults in the Bay Area.