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Lowe’s names new chief of Canadian division

Lowe’s names new chief of Canadian division

Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

Lowe's Cos. Inc. has hired a former Loblaw Cos. Ltd. executive to be the new president of its Canadian division.

Sylvain Prud'homme will take on the job effective March 25.

Mr. Prud'homme replaces current president Alan Huggins, who is returning to the U.S. to serve as the company's vice-president of international operations and development.

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The U.S. home improvement retailer says Mr. Prud'homme was the perfect fit for the role because of his experience in national and international retail merchandising.

Before serving as the executive vice-president in operations and merchandising for Loblaw, Mr. Prud'homme had worked for retail giant Wal-Mart Stroes Inc. and grocers Sobey's West and Super C.

He is an MBA graduate from the University of Montreal.

"He is a strategic thinker and a humble leader, and will be an outstanding addition to the Canada leadership team," said William Robinson, Lowe's head of international operations and development in a statement.

Lowe's, which is based in Mooresville, N.C., operates 1,745 stores in North America – with the majority in the United States.

There are 34 locations and a distribution centre in Canada.

Last September, the company retreated from an attempt to acquire Quebec-based rival Rona Inc. through a $1.8-billion deal that was shunned by Rona's board.

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Since expanding to Canada in 2006, it has tried to expand in a competitive market that already includes retail giants Home Depot Inc. and Rona.

In November, it hinted that it was still considering an acquisition in Canada but would not name a target company.

Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world and reported sales of $50.2-billion (U.S.) in fiscal 2011.

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