April 23, 2012, 12:14 PM

Lowe’s promotes two executives to newly created positions

The home improvement chain names a chief customer officer and chief operating officer.

Lead Photo

Gregory Bridgeford

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. Inc. has promoted two employees to newly created positions. 

Gregory M. Bridgeford, formerly executive vice president of business development, is promoted to chief customer officer. Rick D. Damron, formerly executive vice president of store operations, is being named chief operating officer.

The two will begin their new roles May 5, 2012, and both will report to Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO of Lowe’s, No. 91 in theInternet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

 “As we continue to transform Lowe’s to a leaner, more nimble, multichannel company, we took a hard look at our organizational structure and opted to make changes to support our efforts to deliver outstanding customer experiences,” Niblock says. “Lowe’s is fortunate to have a deep and talented bench of executives like Greg and Rick, with experience across home improvement disciplines. I am confident these leaders can deliver on our goals to serve customers whenever and however they choose to engage with Lowe’s.”

As chief customer officer, Bridgeford, is responsible for helping boost customer service and for differentiating Lowe’s from its competitors, the chain says. He will oversee customer experience design, merchandising, marketing and communications, digital interfaces, and pricing and promotions.

Bridgeford has worked in the home improvement industry for more than 30 years. He joined Lowe’s in 1982 and has held business development and strategic planning roles with Lowe’s since 1999. While at Lowe’s he has held such titles as senior vice president of merchandising and as senior vice president of marketing.

As the company’s new chief operating officer, Damron, will oversee store operations, sales and service fulfillment, product fulfillment, real estate and facilities, and loss prevention and safety. Damron joined Lowe’s in 1981 and held such jobs as senior vice president of logistics and executive vice president of store operations.

Lowe’s says its e-commerce sales increased by 70% in 2011 as a direct result of the company’s bigger commitment to the web.

In 2011 Lowe’s reported:

• Total sales increased about 2.9% to $50.20 billion from $48.81 billion in 2010

• Comparable-store sales increased 3.4%

• Net earnings declined about 9% to $1.83 billion from $2.01 billion.

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