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A Canadian Tire store is seen in North Vancouver, May 10, 2012.Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A key executive who has helped oversee some of the big changes at Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. over the past three years is being recognized for his contributions.

Chief financial officer Dean McCann is being named CFO of the Year on Thursday in honour of his role in transformational moves, such as spinning off the retailer's real estate properties into a real estate income trust and teaming up with Bank of Nova Scotia to strengthen Canadian Tire's financial services business.

The award is being presented by Financial Executives International Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Robert Half. (The Globe and Mail is the media sponsor.)

Among other accomplishments, Mr. McCann, who has been at Canadian Tire for 19 years, helped it fight off major international rivals, most recently U.S. discounter Target Corp., which is retreating from Canada after about two years here.

"We've competed with some of the biggest retailers in the world," Mr. McCann said in an interview. "There's still lots more work to do and lots more opportunities to chase. But it's been a very, very good run for the past few years."

Over the past three years, Canadian Tire's class A shares have more than doubled, closing at $130.35 on Wednesday.