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Cassaday, the former media executive who was named vice chairman on Thursday, will take over from Richard DeWolfe next spring

By Leah Golob |

Richard DeWolfe, chairman of the board of directors of Toronto-based Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. and its holding company, Manulife Financial Corp., has named John Cassady as his successor, effective May 3, 2018.

Cassaday, who joined the board in 1993, was just named vice chairman of the board on Dec. 7. DeWolfe will work with Cassaday in managing a smooth transition of the board's affairs until his retirement and the board's annual meeting in May.

"John was selected following a comprehensive and diligent process in which all of Manulife's directors took part," DeWolfe says, in a statement, "and we are privileged that someone with his vast experience, leadership strength and track record of important board contributions will take on this critical role."

Adds Roy Gori, Manulife's president and CEO, in a statement: "Thanks to his many years of service on Manulife's board, John has a unique perspective on both the history and the future of our business, which will be particularly valuable as we work to realign and transform our company around our customers."

Cassaday was previously president and CEO of Toronto-based Corus Entertainment Inc. Prior to Corus, he was executive vice president of Calgary-based Shaw Communications, president and CEO of Toronto-based CTV Television Network and president of Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. for Canada and the U.K.

Cassaday currently sits on the board of directors for Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc., Spin Master Corp. — both based in Toronto — and Houston-based Sysco Corp.