Maple Leaf "streamlines" structure

Maple Leaf "streamlines" structure

Maple Leaf Foods has announced plans to "streamline" its management structure in a bid to improve operating margins following the sale of its majority-owned bakery business, Canada Bread.

President and CEO Michael McCain said the company intends to boost the profitability of its branded packaged consumer meats business. "These changes will support that future by consolidating multiple layers of management into a streamlined, responsive and integrated structure," he said.

Maple Leaf said the "transition" to a "new organisation" focused on consumer meats will result in a "number of changes" in the executive line-up.

At the "most senior level" Maple Leaf said Maple Leaf financial executive Debbie Simpson will succeed Michael Vels as CFO, while Gary Maksymetz will replace Richard Lan as chief operating officer.

Maple Leaf did not provide details of the total number of jobs it expects to cut. The group said it would specify the charges it will incur when it reports its first-quarter numbers.

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Maple Leaf to Streamline Organization Following Sale of Bakery Business
Simpler Structure Supports Focus on Consumer Packaged Meats

TORONTO, March 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods (MFI:TSX) today announced changes to its organizational structure and leadership that will be effective upon completing the sale of its 90% ownership in Canada Bread Company, Inc. to Grupo Bimbo, S.A.V. de C.V., 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. "These changes will support that future by consolidating multiple layers of management into a streamlined, responsive and integrated structure."  

Transitioning to the new organisation 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. Gary 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. Mike 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 Debbie.  Mike 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. 

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. Richard 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.  

Other information regarding management changes is available on the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at

The new leadership team has been selected from a deep bench strength of management talent with extensive leadership skills, operational and industry experience. Each of them has already made a very positive impact at Maple Leaf through periods of significant change. Together, they have 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 Mr. 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."

Mr. McCain continued, "I want to acknowledge Michael, Richard and Scott and thank them for their extraordinary dedication, skill and contributions to shaping MapleLeaf Foods into a market and innovation leader."

Maple Leaf is in the final phase of implementing a strategy to significantly improve profitability and global competitiveness in its prepared meats supply chain. These organizational and leadership changes will align the Company's management and administrative structure to efficiently meet the Company's future requirements and contribute to delivering management's targeted EBITDA margin expansion. The Company will incur restructuring costs related to these organizational changes and other cost reduction initiatives necessitated by the sale of the Bakery business. Estimates of these costs will be disclosed when the Company reports its first quarter results.


Original source: Maple Leaf Foods