Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA named Robert Sawyer as CEO, ending its search for a permanent replacement for long-time CEO Robert Dutton, who resigned in November.
Sawyer is the former chief operating officer of Metro Inc., the Quebec-based food retailer.
Robert Chevrier, executive chairman of RONA, trumpeted Sawyer’s retail experience.
“It became increasingly clear to us that to ensure a successful transformation, we needed to hire a specialist in retail and distribution operations,” he said. “[Sawyer] will play a key role in simplifying and optimizing the RONA business model, particularly with respect to merchandising, pricing strategy, supply chain, service to consumers and service to RONA dealers. Robert has the operational and turnaround expertise needed to put RONA back on the path to profitable growth and increase value for all of our stakeholders.”
Sawyer replaces acting CEO Dominique Boies. The move takes effect in April.
The leadership move comes at a time when RONA is remaking its business model by simplifying its operations and deemphasizing large, big-box home centers while rolling out smaller formats as Home Depot and Lowe’s turn up the competitive pressure in Canada.
RONA operates a network of more than 800 corporate, franchise and affiliate retail stores of various sizes and formats under different banners, and a network of 14 hardware and construction materials distribution centers. It is the largest home improvement distributor and retailer in Canada.