Canada billionaire Weston passes George Weston chair role to son

Executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited Galen G Weston (L) holds his son Graydon, as they pose with W. Galen Weston (R) in Toronto, July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Galen Weston is stepping down as chairman of George Weston Ltd, the company controlled by Canada’s second wealthiest family, to be succeeded by his son Galen G. Weston, the company said on Wednesday.

Weston, 75, is the grandson of the founder of George Weston Ltd, which is Canada’s largest food processing and distribution company and dates back to the late 19th century when the family opened a bread factory in Toronto.

Weston will remain as chairman emeritus of the company, whose businesses include a major stake in grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. Galen G. Weston, 43, will become chairman and retain his responsibility as executive chairman and president of Loblaw.

“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,” the older Weston said in a statement.

The younger Weston will become the fourth generation of the family to assume leadership of the business. He has been executive chairman of Loblaw since 2006.

Galen Weston is Canada’s second richest man, according to Forbes, with an estimated net worth of $9.6 billion.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Alan Crosby