Galen Weston, 41, will take the reins as president of the Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw (TSE: L), the company his family transformed into Canada's biggest supermarket and pharmacy in the 1970s.
Weston was immediately instated as president after Vicente Trius, who acted as president since 2011, left for Brazil citing family reasons. The company shift follows the appointments of Grant Froese as COO and Richard Dufresne as CFO.
Weston's company, George Weston Ltd., is the biggest shareholder in Loblaw, with about 45 percent of company shares, according to Bloomberg. The leadership change could be considered "slightly negative" for Loblaw because Trius stabilized the company's grocery results, helping it outperform competitors, Peter Sklar, a Toronto-based analyst at the Bank of Montreal, said in a note to clients. He added that investors may question Weston's effectiveness and Froese may handle many of Trius's previous responsibilities.
"It shouldn't surprise anyone that the family, through me, [is] getting closer to the business to make sure the vision that we've established, that supported the investment, actually gets delivered and executed," Weston said in a conference call with Bloomberg.
The company will see more executive shifts in the future as well. Loblaw announced that Mike Motz will become president of Loblaw-owned Shoppers Drug Mart when Domenic Pilla leaves the company at the end of the year, and former CFO Sarah Davis will become chief administrative officer, replacing Froese as he becomes COO. Story