Maple Leaf Foods CEO stepping down next year after being appointed executive chair

Maple Leaf Foods CEO stepping down next year after being appointed executive chair

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The head of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. will be stepping down as chief executive next year, after being appointed executive chair of the board of directors.

Michael McCain will be replaced next spring by Curtis Frank, currently president and chief operating officer, who has been with the company for 21 years.

Longtime board chair Geoff Beattie has been appointed independent lead director.

Maple Leaf said that under McCain’s leadership, the company acquired in 1995 has been transformed from an underperforming collection of diverse business activities into a focused, world leader in sustainable food production.

“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,” McCain told shareholders Wednesday during its annual meeting.

“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.”

Earlier, Maple Leaf reported its first-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago even as its sales rose seven per cent as it dealt with COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions and higher costs.

McCain said the impact of the Omicron variant, including high levels of absenteeism, inflation and supply chain disruptions, challenged the company in the quarter.

Maple Leaf said it earned $13.7 million or 11 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $47.7 million or 39 cents per share a year earlier.

Sales totalled $1.13 billion, up from $1.05 billion in the same quarter last year.

The increase came as sales in its meat protein group rose to $1.09 billion for the quarter compared with $1.01 billion a year earlier, while sales for its plant protein business climbed to $44.9 million from $42.6 million.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf says it earned three cents per share for the quarter, down from an adjusted profit of 27 cents per share a year ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI)

The Canadian Press

Food