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UPDATE 1-Aurora Cannabis CEO steps down, company to announce job cuts -internal memo

Nichola Saminather

-internal memo@ (Adds details from memo, share prices)

TORONTO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Aurora Cannabis co-founder and Chief Executive Terry Booth will retire and step down from the marijuana producer, with Executive Chairman Michael Singer becoming interim CEO, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Aurora will also cut jobs to "better align with the short-term market reality and focus on reaching profitability," and cut costs across many areas of the business, Booth said in the memo, without providing additional details.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment.

Aurora has begun a formal search for a permanent CEO, Booth said in the memo without providing a time frame, adding that details would be shared once the process is complete.

"We are confident these changes are needed to recalibrate our business to reach profitability as quickly as possible and be ready for long term, sustainable growth we know will come," Booth said.

Singer takes leadership of Aurora as the company is facing criticism from investors for its aggressive global expansion amid uncertain demand and surging costs. Aurora has stopped estimating when it will become profitable after missing its own guidance.

Aurora shares fell 5.2% in Toronto before being halted pending news. The Toronto stock benchmark rose 0.6%. (Reporting By Nichola Saminather Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)