The board of directors of Empire Co. Ltd., parent of the Sobeys chain, on Thursday announced the appointment of James M. Dickson as chair.
Dickson replaces Robert P. Dexter who announced his intention to retire both as chair and as a member of Empire’s board at the company’s annual meeting on Sept. 15. Dexter served on the board at Empire for 29 years including the last 12 as chair.
Dickson joined the Empire board last September, and is also a director of Clearwater Seafoods Inc. and chair of the Board of Regents of Mount Allison University. Earlier this year Dickson retired after more than 20 years at the law firm Stewart McKelvey, where he practiced primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities. He has business operations experience in energy and food retail, through roles earlier in his career at Gulf Canada and at Sobeys.
Dickson holds a Certificate in Engineering from Mount Allison University, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary. He is a professional engineer and was appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 2010.
“Jim’s background and track record in representing and advising some of Canada’s best-known and successful companies combined with his governance experience in serving on the boards of publicly traded companies as well as one of our country’s most respected post secondary institutions, makes him ideally suited to assume the role as chair of the Empire Board,” Kevin Lynch, chair of the Empire board’s corporate governance and nominating committees, said in a statement.
Donald R. Sobey, chair emeritus of Empire, praised Dexter for his service to company shareholders over the past three decades: “In the 29 years that Rob has served on the Empire board, the past 12 as chair, he has played a pivotal role in some of the most important decisions leading to the company’s significant growth. His outstanding contributions, wise counsel and commitment to strong governance have been the foundation of his service both as a director and as chair of the board.”