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Maple Leaf taps David Smales as CFO

Former Aecon exec to succeed Geert Verellen
david smales
David Smales

Maple Leaf Foods chief financial officer Geert Verellen is stepping down from the company.

David Smales has been named Verellen’s successor, starting Jan. 29.

Smales previously spent almost 15 years as EVP and CFO at Aecon Group Inc. Prior to Aecon, he was the CFO at Catalyst Paper Corporation.

The executive brings decades of international and transactional experience to the role, having previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Novar PLC.

"As we planned for this transition, finding the right successor for Geert was a critical priority for us," said Curtis Frank, president and CEO, in a statement.  "Geert has made a significant impact over the last four years, including playing an important role in leading us through one of the most ambitious capital investment programs in our history. On behalf of the entire company, we thank Geert for his leadership, and wish him all the best in the next phase of his career.

"In our search for a new CFO, we actively sought someone with David's breadth of experience, blending strong financial acumen with long-term strategic planning skills and a deep understanding of Canadian capital markets… We are thrilled that David will be joining our Senior Leadership Team, and certain he will be a great addition to Maple Leaf Foods as we execute our strategic blueprint on the journey to becoming the most sustainable protein company on earth."

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