Lowe's COO to retire, promotions announced

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Lowe’s announced that Larry Stone, president and chief operating officer since 2006, will retire on June 2 -- his 42nd anniversary with Lowe’s. Stone has served in virtually every leadership position within store operations, merchandising and store environment during his career.

“After more than four decades of commitment and dedication to the company he truly loves, we knew the day would come when Larry retires and begins the next chapter in his life,” said Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO. “He has made many important and lasting contributions to Lowe’s during his career. It would be an understatement to say he will be missed.”

The company said it does not plan to fill the president and chief operating officer position after Stone’s retirement. Niblock and Stone will work together over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.

Lowe’s also announced the following promotions within merchandising, store operations and strategic planning:

  • Robert J. (Bob) Gfeller, Jr. – Executive Vice President, Merchandising
  • Rick D. Damron – Executive Vice President, Store Operations
  • William D. (Doug) Robinson – Senior Vice President, Customer Support Services
  • Richard D. Maltsbarger – Senior Vice President, Strategy

Gfeller is replacing Charles Canter, who previously announced his retirement effective March following 37 years with the company. Gfeller most recently served as SVP and general merchandising manager hardlines and building products. He joined the company in 1999 and served as SVP marketing for 10 years before moving to merchandising in 2009. Gfeller has more than 25 years of branding and retail marketing experience, having managed some of the nation’s leading brand names and products at The Coca-Cola Company and Nabisco Inc.

Damron has served as SVP of logistics since 2009 and possesses more than 28 years of Lowe’s store operations experience, including SVP of the company’s North Central and Northeast divisions, and regional vice president Lowe’s Pennsylvania and New Jersey markets. Damron also served as store manager and district manager earlier in his career. He replaces Michael K. Brown, who was recently named EVP and chief information officer.

Robinson’s promotion to SVP customer support services follows his most recent assignment as VP store operations/special projects, which includes Lowe’s customer contact (call) center, flexible product fulfillment and appliance service/repair. In addition, he will assume responsibility for lowes.com.

Maltsbarger, promoted to SVP of strategy, has more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning, consumer and market research, quantitative analytics, enterprise information management, marketing and economic analysis. He most recently served as VP strategic planning. Other positions held at Lowe’s include VP research and director of customer analytics. Prior to joining Lowe’s, Maltsbarger held various strategy, marketing and consumer analytics positions with IBM Global Business Solutions, Monsanto Company, Farmland Industries and the University of Missouri. He joined Lowe’s in 2004.