(Bloomberg)—Lowe’s Cos., No. 25 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, under pressure to match the performance of Home Depot Inc., is looking for new leadership after its long-time chairman and CEO announced plans to retire.
Robert Niblock, a 25-year veteran of the home-improvement retailer, will remain with the company in his current roles until a successor is found, the company said Monday. He has served as CEO for 13 years. Lowe’s shares jumped the most in more than a year on Monday.
Niblock, 55, is stepping down at a time when activist investor D.E. Shaw & Co. has pushed Lowe’s to close the gap with Home Depot Inc., No. 8. While sales at Lowe’s have risen, they continue to trail gains at its larger competitor as property values rise and Americans invest more in their homes.
“The market is likely excited for new leadership,” said Seema Shah, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It is hoping for a leader who can better capitalize on the macro tailwinds and drive improved bottom-line performance.”
Part of Lowe’s struggle is the chain has fewer stores in lucrative areas than Home Depot. Niblock said last month that the company is boosting capital spending by about 50% this year, and working to have employees spend more time with customers.
Shares of Lowe’s surged as much as 7.8% to $90.33, the biggest intraday gain since March 1, 2017. They had dropped 9.9% this year through Friday’s close.Favorite