Ace names new chief for Westlake

Tom Knox

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware appointed a new chief for Westlake Ace Hardware, the 85-store Midwestern chain.

Tom Knox, 59, was named president and CEO of Westlake, which is owned by the co-op -- and which is also the co-op's largest member. Knox wil be leaving his role as VP retail business development, training and supply at Ace's corporate offices and take on his new role in Lenexa, Kan.

Knox will replace George Smith, who had served as CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware before the retailer was purchased by the co-op, and remained at the helm afterwards. Ace Hardware purchased Westlake for some $88 million in late 2012 from the retailer's previous owner, the private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison.

Westlake Ace was named "Retailer of the Year" by Home Channel News in 2011. 

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