TORONTO – Maple Leaf Foods’ board of directors appointed Purdy Crawford non-executive chairman of the board. Prior to the death of the company's long serving chairman, G. Wallace F. McCain, on May 13, Crawford was vice chairman and lead director. Crawford’s appointment ensures continuity of leadership at the board, the company said.

Crawford will be retiring from the board by the company's next annual meeting in April 2012, and will serve as chairman until the annual meeting or such earlier time as determined by the board.

The board has appointed a committee of four independent directors with Dr. Chaviva Hošek as chair to review and make recommendations to the full Board on the position of chairman of the board on an ongoing basis.