William Sharpe has stepped down as the president and CEO of troubled Canadian beer maker Northern Breweries.

"Northern Breweries announces the resignation of William Sharpe as president and CEO of the company effective immediately," the company said. Sharpe's resignation follows comments he made last month warning that Northern was expected to close due to bankruptcy because of debts of C$7m (US$6.2m).

He took control at the brewer in December 2004. At the time he promised to boost employment and update facilities in Greater Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.