Maple Leaf Foods has named finance leader Geert Verellen its new chief financial officer, effective January 6, 2020.

Verellen joins Maple Leaf Foods from Walmart where he served as regional chief financial officer for Walmart Canada, India and Japan. 

Before joining Walmart in 2015, he held various finance roles at Delhaize Group, a Belgian-based international food retailer (now part of Ahold Delhaize), and subsequently became CFO for its Belgian operations.  Prior to that, Verellen was investor relations officer and spokesperson for Delhaize Group. Before joining food retail, for eight years, he also served as an audit manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Belgium and the United States.

Verellen will succeed Debbie Simpson, who served as the company's CFO since 2014.  She announced in August that she would leave the company November 1.

"Geert's breadth of financial knowledge and his extensive food retailing experience will be an important asset to Maple Leaf Foods," said Michael McCain, President and CEO.  "His proven capabilities in communicating finance to analysts, investors and the public will help us articulate our vision and strategy effectively going forward."

Verellen earned a Master in Commercial Engineering and Certificate in Applied Economics and Accountancy, from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and practiced as a Certified Public Accountant in Belgium.