An Oct. 19 article in the Wall Street Journal reported that home improvement giant Lowe's is working on a succession plan to replace current chief executive Robert Niblock, 50, within three years. Quoting sources close to the company -- Lowe’s would not comment on specifics for the article -- the newspaper reported that some board members are growing restive with Lowe’s reliance on technology to grow sales.
The CEO search could be connected closely to the retailer's search for a chief merchandising officer, a position that might have an inside track to the CEO suite, according to the report.
Lowe’s previous executive VP merchandising, Bob Gfeller, left the position last May, when he was promoted to the position of customer experience design. Lowe’s also needs to hire someone to head its logistics and distribution after promoting Mike Mabry, now head of digital interfaces, as part of its May management shake-up.
One obvious candidate for the CEO’s job, company veteran Greg Bridgeford, has made it clear he has plans to retire shortly, according to the WSJ article. The 58-year-old executive, who joined Lowe’s in 1982, served for years as executive VP business development before taking the newly created position of chief customer officer in May.