The Honorable David L. Emerson has decided to retire from the Maple Leaf Foods Board of Directors as of the upcoming annual and special general meeting to be held on May 2.

Emerson was appointed chair of Maple Leaf Foods immediately after he was first elected to the board of directors in May 2012, bringing with him extensive experience in Canada's public and private sectors, including his roles with the Government of Canada as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Trade, and Minister of Industry.

"David joined the board at a critical juncture in the company's development," said Mr. Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. "He led the board's oversight of the successful completion of Maple Leaf's prepared meats business supply chain transformation, as well as the reorganization of our business operations, including the divestiture of our rendering operations and bakery industry investments. My fellow directors and I have the highest regard for David's leadership and are honored to have served with him."


Beattie expected to become new board chair

With Emerson's decision to retire, Maple Leaf Foods is putting forward the remaining nine incumbent directors for re-election to the board of directors at the meeting. Immediately after the meeting, the board anticipates appointing W. Geoffrey Beattie as chair of the board.

"In anticipation of my retirement from the board, the directors considered succession for the position of chair and determined Mr. Beattie's combination of experience, leadership and knowledge of the company make him an excellent choice," said Emerson.

Beattie, who has served on the Board of Maple Leaf Foods for the last 10 years, is CEO of Generation Capital and chair of Relay Ventures. He is also a director of the General Electric Company, Baker Hughes, a GE Company and Fiera Capital Corporation, and was previously a director of Royal Bank of Canada and Acasta Enterprises Inc.  Beattie previously served as CEO of The Woodbridge Company Limited from 1998 through 2012. Prior to that, Beattie was a partner in the Toronto office of the law firm Torys LLP and was a vice president at Wood Gundy from 1987 to 1990.