Lowe's CEO Extends Hiring Spree With Walmart Veteran
(Bloomberg) -- Lowe’s Cos. Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison is continuing to reshape management at the home-improvement retailer, with the hiring of a former Walmart Inc. executive to oversee a critical area of his plans to bolster the company.
Donald Frieson has been named executive vice president of supply chain, effective Aug. 8, Lowe’s said Tuesday. In this role, he’ll be responsible for distribution centers, sourcing and delivery services. He’s filling a similar position to Brent Kirby, who left the company as its chief supply chain officer earlier this year.
Ellison, who was named CEO in May and joined July 2, places a lot of value on supply chain as a way for Lowe’s to improve how its online and physical stores work together. So does activist investor D.E. Shaw & Co., which began agitating for changes that led to Ellison’s hiring and cited shortfalls in that area as one reason its results have trailed Home Depot. Frieson will report directly to the CEO.
Frieson is the latest retail industry veteran to join Ellison in his bid to challenge Home Depot. He most recently served as chief operating officer of Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart, part of a career that spanned almost two decades at the world’s largest retailer.
Ellison, who was a top-ranked executive at Home Depot until becoming CEO of department-store chain J.C. Penney Co., has also re-tooled Lowe’s top management structure with new roles, including ones overseeing merchandising and stores. Both of those executive vice president positions have been filled by Home Depot veterans.
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