Hylife Foods has promoted Karan Sangfai to CEO as Grant Lazaruk is set to retire from leading the Canadian pork processor in February.

Sangfai, who is the chief strategic officer at the Manitoba-headquartered business, will also take over the president role from Lazaruk as of 1 March.

Lazaruk will step down on 29 February having led Hylife Foods as president and CEO since 2010. He joined the company in 1997.

“I feel the timing is right for me to transition and focus more on community-minded initiatives,” Lazaruk said in a statement. “I am also looking forward to spending more time with my family and grandchildren.”

Sangfai has been part of the Hylife Foods leadership team since 2022. The business is engaged in raising pigs through to processing meat for the North American market but also supplies Asia, with offices in China and Japan.

The company exports around the world including markets in the Asia Pacific, Europe, South America and South Africa.

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By GlobalData

In 2020, Hylife Foods increased its US presence by acquiring a 75% equity stake in American peer Prime Pork based in Minnesota for an undisclosed sum, including a factory in Windom.

However, more than 1,000 jobs were lost at Hylife Foods last summer when plans were announced to close the pork facility in Windom, citing high grain costs and inflationary pressures. While the plant was reportedly then acquired by Premium Iowa Pork it was understood the business did not plan to retain employees.

More than 80 administrative and processing positions were also cut in Canada last year at Hylife Foods head office in Steinbach, Manitoba, and at its processing site in Neepawa in the same province.

Sangfai said: “Grant has not only built a great company, but a great team with a collaborative culture. Our industry has recently faced challenges, but HyLife is strong and well-positioned.”

Hylife Foods added in the statement that under Sangfai’s leadership the company “is poised to reach new heights”.