After a controversial Facebook post regarding the Black Lives Matter movement sparked internet outrage, Gurkha Cigars founder Kaizad Hansotia has stepped down as company chairman. The announcement was made Wednesday via a corporate statement.
Hansotia claimed on the Gurkha Instagram feed and on Twitter that his account was hacked and denied ever posting the inflammatory comments. Requests by Cigar Aficionado for an interview with Hansotia were denied.
Hansotia has ceded management of the company to Jim Colucci, who was named president of Gurkha in early 2019 and, according to the press release, has now assumed the role of CEO. When asked if Hansotia would remain the owner of the company, a company spokesperson said that Colucci was “working to sell Kaizad’s share… He still owns a portion of the company.”
Future Gurkha packaging will no longer bear the K. Hansotia name once current product inventory runs out.
“We are outraged and saddened at the content of previous posts made on Mr. Hansotia’s personal social media accounts. These in no way reflect the position or beliefs of the company, its founding mission or its employees,” the release said.