Friedman’s makes executive moves

Recent growth at Friedman’s, the privately held California home center and LBM chain, has resulted in executive expansion.

The Petaluma, Calif.-based company announced that it has added Joe Covert, Charley Johnson and Richard Marano to its executive leadership team.

Joe Covert

Covert joins the company as vice president of merchandising, while Johnson and Marano will step into the newly created positions of vice president of pro and design and vice president of technology. The additions follow the announcement earlier this year that Friedman’s has leased a 3.5-acre site with a 30,000-square-foot distribution center in Windsor dedicated to increasing services to construction professionals.

“The creation of the new dedicated leadership positions for pro and design and technology are in direct response to the growing building needs and expectations of our customers,” said Friedman’s President and CEO Barry Friedman. “Even though we are a 72-year-old company, we are evolving and investing in our team and offerings so we can continue to build on our history and reputation of service. Joe, Charley and Richard bring high-caliber experience and talent to Friedman’s, allowing us to increase our product and service offerings.”

With 30 years of retail leadership experience, Covert joins Friedman’s after a 20-year tenure at Restoration Hardware where he most recently held the position of senior vice president of merchandising for the furniture and lighting categories. In this role he was accountable for product development, sourcing, assortment and financial planning, and inventory management. He is well-versed in partnering with technology and operations teams, and while at RH, he was part of the merchandising team responsible for tripling its business in just eight years. Covert steps into his new role at Friedman’s following the retirement of 42-year veteran Tony Corsberg.

Charley Johnson

Johnson joins Friedman’s with two decades of experience in sales and operations, including multiple executive roles, and will be responsible for leading initiatives to enhance service and experience for both the professional contractor and home design customers. Previously, Johnson spent 14 years with Best Buy, holding positions including international director of operations based in China and national director of sales/business development where he helped develop and grow Pacific Sales’ “store within a store” concept. His experience also includes serving on the Home Depot/Expo Design Center Leadership Team in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Richard Marano

With more than 30 years of technology experience related to the retail industry, Marano will oversee Friedman’s technology team, including business intelligence, infrastructure and software. Marano’s previous positions include tenures at Levi Strauss & Company, West Marine, and most recently Orchard Supply Hardware where he was vice president of information technology and chief information officer. In this role he was responsible for the implementation of the company’s new enterprise resource planning system, which he now also oversees at Friedman’s.

Friedman’s operates locations in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma and Ukiah, as well as its 3.5-acre distribution yard in Windsor.

The company has more than 620 employees and serves customers throughout Sonoma and Mendocino counties in Northern California.