Lowe's Promotes Damron as Chief Operating Officer

Lowe’s Cos. promoted Rick Damron to the newly created position of chief operating officer to help the second-biggest U.S. home improvement retailer draw more customers to stores and online.

Damron, 49, was previously executive vice president of store operations, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based company said in a statement. Gregory Bridgeford, 57, was promoted to chief customer officer, also a new position, from executive vice president of business development. Their new jobs start May 5.

CEO Robert Niblock has closed stores and eliminated jobs while adding thousands of items for sale online after the company trailed Home Depot Inc. in sales by stores open at least a year in 2011. Damron, who joined Lowe’s in 1981, and Bridgeford, who arrived a year later, will lead efforts to boost Web sales and improve store operations.

Same-store stores at Lowe’s were flat in 2011, compared with Home Depot’s gain of 3.4 percent.

Lowe’s gained 0.1 percent to $32 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 26 percent this year.

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