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True Value CEO lands at Bed Bath & Beyond

John Hartmann jumps from hardware stores to housewares.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Bed Bath & Beyond appointed John Hartmann as COO. Hartmann was also named president of the company’s buybuyBaby unit and will report directly to Bed Bath & Beyond president and CEO Mark Tritton.

On Monday, Hartmann announced his plan to leave True Value Company, which promoted Chief Commercial Officer Chris Kempa to the role of CEO.  In a video that was shared with retailers and that featured both executives, Hartmann said he made “the very hard decision to leave True Value to take the next step in my career.”

Regarding the timing of the transition, which occurs as an unprecedented pandemic threatens the U.S. and its economy, Hartmann said: “Timing is never perfect when making these decisions, particularly now. But I know I’m leaving True Value in a wonderful position to thrive.”

Hartmann will officially begin his role with the Union, N.J.-based housewares retailer May 18.

According to Bed Bath & Beyond’s announcement,  Hartmann will be charged with leading key areas of the company’s transformation including IT, supply chain and real estate. He will also be responsible for re-engineering the company’s supply chain and technology infrastructure to enhance fulfilment, drive cost improvements, improve customer experience and support the introduction of omnichannel improvements such as Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store (BOPIS) across its fleet of stores. As president of BABY, he will be responsible for further developing the growth strategy of the infant and small children retail brand.

The press release included the following statement from the former True Value chief: “I am passionate about retail and thrilled to join the company to help transform this iconic brand,” Hartmann said. “Together with the leadership team, I am confident we will continue to increase the pace of change to rebuild this business and support Bed Bath & Beyond’s omni-channel future.”

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