Lowe’s names COO to lead Omnichannel

Mike Troy
Editorial Director
Mike Troy
Richard Maltsbarger will replace Rick Damron as COO at Lowe's effective Feb. 3, 2018.

Richard Maltsbarger was elevated to the role of COO at Lowe’s following an impressive third quarter that saw the company produce a hurricane aided 5.7% increase in same store sales.

Maltsbarger previously served as Lowe's chief development officer and president of international and was named COO to fill a position vacated by long time Lowe’s executive Rick Damron. The change takes effect Feb. 3 when Damron retires after 36 years with Lowe’s. In making the appointment, Lowe’s President, CEO and Chairman Robert Niblock made it clear that the “O” in chief operating officer also stands for omnichannel.

Maltsbarger, 42, a Lowe’s employee since 2004, will be responsible for delivering seamless omni-channel experiences to execute Lowe's brand promise and build lasting customer loyalty, according to Niblock. He will oversee areas including store operations, supply chain, pro and services, while also working closely with Lowe’s Chief Customer Officer Michael P. McDermott to further enhance the omnichannel customer experience.

"Richard (Maltsbarger) is a proven leader with a keen understanding of our business and industry. He brings vast consumer knowledge from various roles within Lowe's and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of our strategy,” Niblock said. “We are confident that in this new role, Richard will continue to enhance our capabilities and processes as we execute our plans and meet customers' rapidly evolving expectations."

The key leadership change comes as Lowe’s exceeded earnings expectations in the third quarter while keeping its full year sales forecast intact. The company reported net earnings of $872 million and earnings per share of $1.05 for the quarter ended Nov. 3, 2017. That was three cents better than analysts forecast and compared to prior year adjusted earnings per share of 88 cents.

Sales for quarter increased 6.5 percent to $16.8 billion and receive a $200 million benefit from multiple hurricanes which hit the U.S. Excluding the impact of hurricanes, sales would have increased 5.3%.

"During the third quarter, we drove traffic in-store and online with compelling messaging and integrated customer experiences. We continue to invest in omnichannel capabilities to enhance value for customers and shareholders," Niblock said. "I am also pleased with the progress we've made to enhance our product and service offering for the pro customer, delivering another quarter of comparable sales above the company average.”

Lowe’s ended the quarter with 2,144 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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