MSC Industrial Supply Co., a long-time leader in B2B ecommerce that does more than half of its sales electronically, has named a chief digital officer to “accelerate our digital transformation,” president and CEO Erik Gershwind announced today.
John Hill, a veteran of information technology, digital transformation and strategic planning, has joined MSC as executive vice president and chief digital officer — the first to fill a CDO position at the multibillion-dollar distributor of metalworking and industrial supplies.
“Technology is at the forefront of delivering value to our customers and enhancing our ability to solve their mission-critical challenges on the plant floor,” Gershwind said in announcing Hill’s appointment. “John brings exceptional experience in driving and implementing technology strategies that will help accelerate our digital transformation.”
Hill, who will report to Gershwind, joins MSC from workwear manufacturer and marketer Carhartt, where he served for six years as chief digital officer responsible for digital and technology strategies and led the company through an “end-to-end digital transformation,” according to an MSC press release. Carhartt operates multiple ecommerce sites, including the B2B site Carhartt Company Gear and the consumer-oriented retail site Carhartt.com.
Prior to Carhartt, Hill led technology application development and maintenance at W.W. Grainger Inc. Earlier in his career, Hill was the chief information officer and vice president, business transformation at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for the Province of Ontario, Canada, and served in executive positions in IT, strategic planning, business development and strategic sourcing at Roche, General Motors, Supply Access and IBM. He started his career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
At MSC — where ecommerce sales of $523.2 million accounted for 60.7% of total sales of $862.5 million for the fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 26, 2022 — Hill says he is “looking forward to helping MSC take the next step in its digital transformation, so we can support our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders at the highest level.”
Hill is on course to receive a doctorate degree in business administration in May from the Florida Institute of Technology. He earned a master’s degree in administrative management at Bowie State University and a bachelor’s in economics at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Mark Pickett, MSC’s vice president of digital growth, and Faisal Hussain, MSC’s vice president of ecommerce, will speak on B2B ecommerce strategies in separate sessions at the EnvisionB2B Conference & Exhibition in June.
MSC’s corporate name is MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc., but it generally goes by the name of its main business unit, MSC Industrial Supply Co.
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