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W. Galen Weston has stepped down as executive chairman of Toronto-based George Weston Ltd., succeeded by his son, Galen G. Weston, who retains his responsibilities as executive chairman and president of Canadian retailer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. The elder Weston, 75, has become chairman emeritus.
Having assumed executive control of George Weston Ltd. in 1974, when he succeeded his father, W. Galen Weston focused on making Loblaw into Canada’s top retailer, and building Weston into one of North America’s biggest food-processing companies. During his time at the helm, he oversaw the introduction of such innovative brands and retail concepts as President’s Choice, Joe Fresh, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore.
“Following my own father's tradition of stepping down at the age of 75, I see this as a good time to create space for the next generation,” said W. Galen Weston. “I have absolute confidence in my son and the George Weston Ltd. board and leadership.” He added that he would “focus on the exciting opportunities ahead in our luxury business and some truly groundbreaking potential with our charitable foundation.”
Representing the fourth generation of family leadership, Galen G. Weston, 43, has been executive chairman of Loblaw since 2006 and deputy chairman of George Weston Ltd. since March of this year.
“My father's success over four decades sets a high bar for the next generation of our business,” he noted. “We will benefit from the strong legacy traits of Weston companies.”
Additionally, W. Galen Weston’s daughter, Alannah Weston, was appointed a director on the board earlier this year.
George Weston Ltd. has two reportable operating segments: Weston Foods and Loblaw, which is operated by Loblaw Cos. Limited. While the Weston Foods operating segment is mainly engaged in the North American baking industry, Loblaw is Canada’s largest food distributor and a top provider of general merchandise, drug store and financial products and services.