Less than a year after being announced as the Cubanacan vp of sales, Spence Drake has resigned.

In a statement to halfwheel, Drake told halfwheel that he left the company due to differing views in regards to its future:

In my year or so with the company I really enjoyed building and managing the sales team and am very proud of what we were able to accomplish.  We took a brand that was an unknown and have made it much more relevant in the marketplace. Sometimes people have different visions for the direction of a company.  I’m fairly uncompromising when it comes to certain things, that is ultimately what brought this relationship to an end.  I wish them the best moving forward and see a lot of potential there.  I hope to see them capitalize on it.

Cubanacan spent much of 2014 introducing itself to the cigar world, again. It was previously known as Mederos, but underwent a rebranding in 2013. At that time, the company’s U.S. sales operations were in a state of flux, something Drake oversaw fixing last year, including the hiring of full-time sales representatives.

The company made a splash at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show with a medium-size booth and one of the most talked-about cigars of last year, HR Habano. The cigar was developed in partnership with Hirochi Robaina, grandson of the late Alejandro Robaina, Cuba’s preeminent tobacco grower. The younger Robaina has done dozens of events across the U.S. to promote the cigar, something that helped to reenergize the Cubanacan brand.

Drake told halfwheel he is open to remaining in the cigar business, but that he would wait for the right opportunity. His LinkedIn page indicates that he is returning back to real estate.

An email sent to Robert Mederos, owner of Cubanacan, was not immediately returned.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.