Media Centre
2004/03/25

Maple Leaf Foods Announces New Executive Appointments

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Mar 25, 2004 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX) -- Maple Leaf Foods (TSX: MFI) today announced that Mr. Michael Vels has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Mr. Tom P. Muir, currently Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer.

"Maple Leaf Foods is extremely fortunate to have the combined and complementary skills of Tom Muir and Michael Vels," said Michael H. McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer. "For the past nine years they have worked collaboratively, overseeing all the Company's financial and transactional activities. Their new positions reflect the evolution of their primary roles and responsibilities, and will allow for a greater focus on the next generation of acquisition growth opportunities."

Since 1995, Maple Leaf Foods has grown from a company with $3 billion in sales and 11,000 employees, to over $5 billion in sales and approximately 18,000 employees in 2003. Over the past nine years, Maple Leaf has acquired and integrated over 20 businesses and completed over 10 divestitures and 10 major financings, positioning the company for profitable growth. At the same time, the Company established sophisticated financial systems that represent best practice in the level of detailed and timely information they provide and value that they add to operating management. The finance team, led by Mr. Muir and Mr. Vels, has been considerably strengthened and today represents a core competency for the Company.

In his new position as Chief Development Officer, Mr. Muir will be responsible for directing the Company's major strategic transactions, and will continue as a Director of Canada Bread Company, Limited. He joined the Company in 1995 concurrent with the purchase of control by the G. Wallace F. McCain family and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board. Prior to this, Mr. Muir was Vice-President and Director of RBC Dominion Securities Inc. where he was co-head of the firm's Investment Banking Group. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Bloorview MacMillan Children's Foundation and the Board of Governors of St. Clement's School, and is involved with the University of Toronto and the United Way. Mr. Muir holds the Chartered Accountant and Fellow, Chartered Business Valuator designations.

As Chief Financial Officer of both Maple Leaf Foods and Canada Bread, Mr. Vels will be responsible for the financial affairs of the Company and the integrity of its financial systems. His responsibilities will include financial reporting, budgeting, treasury, taxation, financial risk management, investor relations, acquisition integration and information systems. He joined Maple Leaf Foods in 1991 at the time of the merger between Maple Leaf Mills and Canada Packers, Maple Leaf Foods' predecessor companies. He has held a number of senior finance positions and was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President Finance in 1999. Mr. Vels received his Chartered Accountant designation in South Africa in 1985.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 18,000 people at its operations across Canada, and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company reported sales of $5.0 billion in 2003.

CONTACT:          Lynda Kuhn
                  Vice-President, Public & Investor Relations
                  (416) 926-2026
                  www.mapleleaf.com

Copyright (C) 2004, CCNMatthews. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.


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