Maple Leaf Foods shaking up executive suite following Canada Bread sale

TORONTO – Maple Leaf Foods (MFI:TSX) is shaking up its executive suite following the sale of its 90 per cent stake in Canada Bread Co. Inc. to Grupo Bimbo.

The company named a new chief operating officer and a new chief financial officer on Wednesday that will lead Maple Leaf after the sale of the bread business closes later this year.

Gary Maksymetz will take over from Richard Lan as chief operating officer, while Debbie Simpson will become chief financial officer, replacing Michael Vels.

Lan will serve as chief customer officer until the end of the year, when he will retire.

Vels will remain with the company until the end of the year to lead the separation of the bakery business and help with the transition.

The company also said that Scott McCain, chief operating officer of Maple Leaf’s agribusiness group, will retire at the end of June.

Maple Leaf Foods has been restructuring its business, which is primarily focused on meat products.

In February, Canada Bread struck an agreement to be acquired by Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest bread companies, in a deal valued at $1.83 billion.

The bakery deal followed the sale of Maple Leaf’s Rothsay rendering business, which handles edible and inedible animal by-products, to Darling International, which is based in Texas.

The company also reached agreements to sell its commercial turkey farms, hatchery operation and breeding farms to two Ontario-based companies.