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Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. CTC-T chairman Maureen Sabia is retiring after 37 years on the company’s board of directors.

The Toronto-based retailer announced on Tuesday that Ms. Sabia will retire as chairman after its annual meeting of shareholders on May 12.

J. Michael Owens, a former Deloitte LLP partner who has sat on the board since 2020, will succeed Ms. Sabia as chair. Mr. Owens is currently the chair of Canadian Tire’s brand and corporate responsibility committee.

Ms. Sabia, 80, served on Canadian Tire’s board longer than any other director except for Martha Billes, the company’s controlling shareholder and daughter of one of its founders. During that time, the retailer has undergone a public battle for control of the company, launched a bank, acquired Sport Chek owner Forzani Group Ltd., and faced competition from U.S. giants in the form of Walmart megastores starting in the 1990s and digital juggernaut

Now, like other retailers, the company is dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and the upheaval in global supply chains.

Ms. Sabia was named chairman of Canadian Tire’s board in 2007, one of relatively few women to hold such a position at a major Canadian public company. She eschewed gender-neutral titles such as “chair,” telling The Globe and Mail in a 2011 interview that “chairman” is “an office of the corporation,” and that she objected to any other title.

In 2011, Ms. Sabia was admitted to the Order of Canada for her work as an advocate for corporate governance and for the advancement of women in business.

“Maureen’s track record of strategic thinking and focus on execution has been instrumental in helping transform CTC into the strong and successful company it is today,” Canadian Tire president and chief executive officer Greg Hicks said in a statement.

The company will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding this year, and Ms. Sabia said in a statement that it was time for new leadership on the board. “It was one of the greatest privileges of my career to have been part of the Tire’s history and its success,” the statement said.

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