Bakers Journal

Maple Leaf to streamline after sale of Canada Bread

March 31, 2014
By Bakers Journal

March 31, 2014, Toronto – Maple Leaf Foods recently announced changes to its
organizational structure and leadership that will be effective upon completing
the sale of its 90 per cent ownership in Canada Bread Company to Grupo Bimbo, which
is expected to occur in the second quarter.

"Following the sale of our bakery operations, Maple
Leaf will be a leading, branded consumer packaged meats company, focused on
profitable growth within and eventually beyond Canada," said Michael H.
McCain, president and CEO, in a media statement. "These changes will
support that future by consolidating multiple layers of management into a
streamlined, responsive and integrated structure."  


Transitioning to the new organization will result in a number
of changes in the executive team, as some long-serving members retire and other
roles are eliminated. At the most senior level:

  • Gary Maksymetz will succeed Richard Lan as chief
    operating officer. Maksymetz has over three decades of commercial and operational
    experience in the North American meat industry, with 20 years at Maple Leaf
    where he has held a range of executive roles in the company's fresh and
    prepared meats businesses and has led these operations for the past four years.
  • Debbie Simpson will succeed Michael Vels as
    chief financial officer. For the past seven years, Debbie has held senior finance
    roles at Maple Leaf, where she has been responsible for financial reporting and
    consolidation, debt financing, divestitures, treasury, capital spending and
    risk management. Vels will remain with the company until the end of the year to
    lead the separation of the bakery business, the Maple Leaf organizational
    transition and support the transfer of his responsibilities to Simpson.  Vels
    will be leaving the organization after a long and impactful career at Maple
    Leaf where he drove success across a number of major financial, operational and
    strategic initiatives, reports Maple Leaf.  
  • Richard Lan will serve as chief customer officer
    until the end of 2014, at which time he will retire from the company. In this
    role, he will support the transition of his extensive commercial knowledge and
    relationships, working with sales leaders to continue to enhance the
    customer-oriented foundation of the business. Lan has been a major architect of
    the company's sales strategies and has been with Maple Leaf since 1995. He has
    held the position of COO, Food Group for the past eight years.   
  • Scott McCain, chief operating officer of the
    Agribusiness Group, will be retiring at the end of June after 19 years with
    Maple Leaf. His leadership and knowledge of the agribusiness sector and
    manufacturing contributed to enhanced profitability and realization of
    significant value for the company, reports Maple Leaf.   

Together, the new team has an extensive knowledge of the
food sector and Maple Leaf Foods, with an average tenure at the company of
almost 20 years. Over the next few months, the new senior executives will work
with their teams to establish the right structure and resources to continue to
build excellence within their functions and efficiently meet the company's
future requirements.

"I am highly confident that our team going forward has
the talent and experience to execute on our plans and enable Maple Leaf Foods
to achieve its potential," said McCain. "We are all excited about
embarking on a new chapter as we complete a major restructuring that will
establish a highly competitive, low cost supply chain and increase our focus on
delivering higher levels of profitable growth."



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