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At Lowe’s, a leadership makeover

A COO is out, a chief customer officer is leaving; and the search is on for an executive VP of Stores.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Looking to improve its focus and its omni-channel capabilities, Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s announced a new leadership structure late Monday. In doing so, the company eliminated the positions of some high-ranking executives.

Chief Operating Officer Richard Maltsbarger will be leaving the company, effective immediately. Maltsbarger had been with the company since 2004 and had just been named COO this past November; a role he took over in February 2018.

And Chief Customer Officer Michael McDermott, will leave the company effective Nov. 6 — a delay designed to ensure a smooth transition, the company said. McDermott joined Lowe’s in 2014 and was promoted in 2016.

The move was announced just  seven days after Marvin R. Ellison officially began his duties as the new president and CEO. “We have taken a fresh look at our organizational structure and are realigning our leadership team to improve our focus, better leverage Lowe’s omni-channel capabilities and deliver increased value for our customers, associates and shareholders,” said Ellison.

Ellison, a former Home Depot executive, came to Lowe’s after serving as CEO of JCPenney since 2014.

Richard Maltsbarger.

In addition to the COO and chief customer officer, Lowe’s will eliminate the positions of corporate administration executive and chief development officer. The plan is to create a structure with “simplified roles and responsibilities to drive operational excellence,” according to a release announcing the moves.

The release also described the positions and the people involved in the new structure:

  • EVP, Merchandising: This role will be responsible for merchandising, marketing, digital, and data analytics and customer insights. William P. (Bill) Boltz has been named to the role, effective Aug. 15, 2018. Boltz is an accomplished executive with more than three decades of retail operations, marketing and merchandising experience and is currently the president and CEO of Chervon North America. In this role, Boltz oversees the sales, marketing, engineering and product development in North America of products under the EGO, SKIL and Skilsaw brands. Chervon, as a global power tool supplier, currently produces products as an original equipment manufacturer for a number of key professional power tool brands and also produces and develops products under the Kobalt and Craftsman brands as well as other private label brands. In addition, Boltz previously held several leadership roles in merchandising at The Home Depot, including senior vice president of hardlines, which consisted of hardware, tools, nursery, cleaning, seasonal, outdoor power and holiday decor. Prior to The Home Depot, Boltz worked at Sears Holdings Corporation for more than 20 years, culminating in his role as vice president, general merchandise manager within home improvement.
  • EVP, Stores: The company has initiated an external search for this newly created role, which will oversee the North, South and West divisions, Orchard Supply Hardware, operations engineering, Pro and services businesses, and asset protection. The senior leaders of the store operations team will report to the CEO until an EVP is named.
  • EVP, Supply Chain: This newly created role will oversee distribution centers, logistics, global sourcing, transportation and delivery services. Mike West, current senior vice president, supply chain operations, will serve in the role on a transitional basis while an external search is underway.
  • SVP, Chief Information OfficerPaul D. Ramsay will remain in his current role as CIO.
  • EVP, Chief Financial Officer: As previously announced, Marshall A. Croom plans to retire from the company, effective Oct. 5, 2018. An external search is underway. Croom will continue in his role as chief financial officer until his successor is appointed, and then remain with the company during a transition period until his retirement date.
  • EVP, General Counsel & Corporate SecretaryBill McCanless will remain in his current role as EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary. Effective immediately, N. Brian Peace, SVP, administration, will report to McCanless. Peace will take another role in the fall.
  • EVP, Human ResourcesJennifer L. Weber will remain in her current role as EVP, human resources.
  • President & CEO, CanadaSylvain Prud‘homme will remain in his current role as president & CEO, Canada, where he will continue to oversee operations in Canada and Mexico.

Marvin Ellison

“As we make this transition, I would like to recognize the numerous contributions of the senior leaders departing Lowe’s and thank them for their years of service,” Ellison said.

The responsibilities of the eliminated positions will be assumed by other senior leadership roles that will report directly to Ellison, the company said. These changes are effective immediately but will require a transition period until all roles are permanently filled, the company said.

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