MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – Maple Leaf Foods announced Curtis Frank, currently chief operating officer, will be the company’s next chief executive officer in the spring of 2023. Michael McCain was named executive chair of the board as part of his transition out of the CEO post.

Mr. Frank joined Maple Leaf shortly after graduating from college 21 years ago, assuming progressively more responsible roles during his tenure. He has been president and COO since 2018.

“Curtis is a living embodiment of our leadership values, embracing the human side of leadership and delivering the results required to succeed in our progressive organization,” Mr. McCain said during the company’s annual general meeting on May 4. “He is exactly the leader we need to further our vision. He is ready to step into the leading role and set the course for the next chapter of Maple Leaf Foods.”

Maple Leaf also announced that Geoff Beattie, who has served on the board of Maple Leaf Foods since 2008, and as chair of the board since 2019, is stepping down as chair and has been appointed independent lead director.  

“The board is extremely confident in a seamless transition through the course of the next year, which has been carefully planned for an extensive period of time,” Mr. Beattie said. “Michael and Curtis have an excellent working relationship, and Curtis is the right leader to set the course for the next chapter of Maple Leaf Foods’ journey to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.”

The McCain family acquired Maple Leaf Foods in 1995, and Michael McCain has led the company through difficult transitions.

“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,” Mr. McCain said. “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.”