Global food processing giantMcCain Foods Limited, Flornceville, N.B., Canada, namedDirk Van de Putas chief operating officer, effective May 17th, 2010. In this new role, created as a result of the company’s succession planning efforts, Van de Put will have direct accountability for McCain’s operating businesses, including integrated supply chain, globally, officials said.

Van de Put has "extraordinary" global experience from more than 20 years in the food industry, most recently as president, Global OTC (over the counter), Consumer Health business of Novartis. Prior to joining Novartis, Van de Put spent more than a decade with Group Danone. He left as senior executive vice president and president, Americas Division. Prior to Danone Van de Put spent more than a decade at Mars Incorporated.

A privately owned company headquartered in Florenceville and Toronto, Canada, McCain has annual sales of CDN$6.5 billion. McCain says it is the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato specialties and also produces other food products, including pizza, appetizers, oven meals, juice and desserts.