MISSISSAUGA, ON – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX: MFI) (“Maple Leaf Foods” or the “Company”) today announced that it is moving forward with implementation of a phased leadership transition plan for the Board and Management. Michael McCain has been appointed as Executive Chair of the Board and will continue as CEO for the next year as part of the management transition plan which will have Curtis Frank, currently the President and COO, step into the CEO role by the spring of 2023.
Maple Leaf Foods also announced that Geoff Beattie, who has served on the Board of Maple Leaf Foods since 2008, and as Chair of the Board since 2019, is stepping down as Chair and has been appointed as Independent Lead Director. He will continue to provide strong leadership for the Independent Directors.
Under the leadership of Michael McCain, Maple Leaf Foods has achieved an enduring and sustainable position as an iconic Canadian Company. Acquired in 1995, the company has been transformed from an underperforming collection of diverse business activities into a focused, world leader in sustainable food production delivering enduring, superior value for all stakeholders.
Driven by his passion to deliver long-term value, Michael McCain has led the company through decades of transformation, from foundation building in the early years, to reshaping the business portfolio, rebuilding supply chains, reinvigorating brands and ultimately pivoting to growth, supported by a progressive vision to become the most sustainable protein company on earth.
The Maple Leaf Foods team has a “change the world” vision and this is reflected in its future CEO, Curtis Frank. Mr. Frank has deep roots in Maple Leaf Foods, joining the company shortly after university and has been a key contributor for his 21 years, with progressively more responsible roles. He has served as President & Chief Operating Officer, leading Maple Leaf Foods side-by-side with Michael McCain since 2018.
“Curtis is a living embodiment of our Leadership Values, embracing the human side of leadership and delivering the results required to succeed in our progressive organization,” said Mr. McCain during the Company’s Annual General Meeting today. “He is exactly the leader we need to further our vision. He is ready to step into the leading role and set the course for the next chapter of Maple Leaf Foods.”
“While in a year’s time I will be stepping down as CEO, and removing myself from the day-to-day activity, my efforts as Executive Chair will shift into a new capacity more heavily oriented to strategy, stewardship, oversight, and guidance,” continued Mr. McCain. “As Maple Leaf Foods’ largest and operating shareholder, the McCain family is not going anywhere. We have deep roots in the food industry and in this business, and we are fully committed to Maple Leaf from my generation to the next.”
“The Board is extremely confident in a seamless transition through the course of the next year, which has been carefully planned for an extensive period of time,” said Geoff Beattie, Independent Lead Director of the Board. “Michael and Curtis have an excellent working relationship, and Curtis is the right leader to set the course for the next chapter of Maple Leaf Foods’ journey to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.”
About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (“Maple Leaf Foods”) is a carbon neutral company with a vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth, responsibly producing food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders® Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife® and Field Roast™. Maple Leaf Foods employs approximately 13,500 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).
This document may contain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities law, including statements regarding future leadership changes at the Company. These statements are not guarantees of future events and involve assumptions and risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Some of these assumptions and risks and uncertainties are described in more detail in the Company’s filings made with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed, implied or forecasted in such forward-looking information and there is no assurance that any common shares will be purchased under the NCIB program. Maple Leaf does not intend to, and Maple Leaf disclaims any obligation to, update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.