Westlake Ace names new CEO

BY HBSDealer Staff

Westlake Ace Hardware announced today that Joe Jeffries has been named president and CEO. Jeffries succeeds Tom Knox, who retired as CEO on March 30.

Knox joined Westlake in 2014, shortly after Ace Hardware Corporation acquired the company in 2013. Prior to joining Westlake, Knox held several leadership roles during his 22-year career with Ace Hardware, and made significant contributions to the company as a primary architect of 20/20 Vision, Ace’s long-term growth strategy.

“Tom is a high caliber executive who brought tremendous value to Ace over the course of his career, and I want to thank him for his servant hearted leadership and unwavering integrity,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace Hardware Corporation. “While Tom will certainly be missed, we are excited about the future of Westlake Ace, and confident in the leadership of Joe Jeffries as he assumes the role of CEO.”

Jeffries was previously president and chief operating officer of Westlake. Prior to joining Westlake in 2014, he was CEO of A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, an arts, crafts and floral merchandise retailer. He has also held management positions with Office Depot and Home Quarters Warehouse.

Joe Jeffries

“It’s an honor to be selected as the new CEO for Westlake Ace,” said Joe Jeffries, president and CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware. “It has been a pleasure working with Tom over the past four years, and I look forward to leading the company as we work together to grow the business and strive to meet the needs of our customers.”

Jeffries becomes CEO during what the company describes as a key growth period in Westlake’s 113-year history. Westlake pointed to the following recent developments::

• On March 26, Westlake finalized its purchase of The Dennis Company, a five-store retail hardware chain in coastal southwest Washington.
• In February, the company formally acquired Seaboard Ace Hardware in Raleigh, N.C.
• In January, the company finalized its acquisition of the seven-store Buikema’s Ace Hardware in the Chicagoland area.

Combined, all three acquisitions have expanded Westlake’s national footprint to 121 stores in 10 states.

Andrew Schmitt has assumed the role of vice president and chief operating officer. Schmitt joined Westlake in 2017 as vice president of operations. Prior to that, he was a director of Retail Operations – Western Division for Ace Hardware. Before joining Ace in 2010, he held finance and procurement positions with Factory Card and Party Outlet and Allstate Insurance Company.


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