Sobey's Parent Empire Appoints Michael Vels as Chief Financial Officer
STELLARTON, NS – As Sobeys continues to tighten up its grocery business following its acquisition of Safeway Canada in late 2013, the retailer’s parent company has moved to introduce a new leaders into its executive ranks. Empire Company Limited has brought on Michael Vels as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, who will begin his tenure starting June 12th, 2017.
Vels, a person known for his ability to restructure and lead companies in transition, has served for many years in various financial roles. Vels expertise comes in part from his recent position as Chief Financial Officer of Hydro One, where he was an instrumental leader in organizing the company’s Initial Public Offering in 2015. Prior to his time there, he served as Maple Leaf Foods’ Chief Financial Officer from 2004-2014, where he led the company's finance, mergers and acquisitions, information technology, and communications functions. As Maples’s Chief Transition Officer in 2014, Vels led the restructuring of senior management and back office functions.
“I am thrilled to welcome Mike Vels to Empire. He is an accomplished executive, one of the country’s most respected CFOs and a highly results-oriented leader,” Michael Medline, President & CEO shared. “He is uniquely qualified for his new role as he understands the Canadian food business and has served on the front lines of important and successful corporate transformation initiatives.”
Clinton Keay, who was previously serving as Interim Chief Financial Officer since July 2016, will assume the role of Executive Vice President, Technology and Lead of the Transformation Office. In this position, he will oversee the company’s efforts as it moves to restructure the way it does business, according to a press release. Prior to his stint as CFO, Keay served as the company’s head of IT from 2002-2014 before being appointed Executive Vice President, Finance. He will continue to report to Medline and serve on the company’s Leadership Committee, Empire clarified.
"Clinton is an accomplished leader and is knowledgeable on all fronts of our business. His deep experience in technology and in overseeing important change in our organization will ensure that we drive innovation that will delight our customers. I want to thank Clinton for the superb job he did as Interim CFO during some trying times," added Medline.
Will this new leadership bring continued changes for the retailer looking to find its footing in Canada’s retail landscape? Keep following AndNowUKnow as we delve into more details.