Rona Names Supermarket Executive Sawyer as President, CEO

Rona Inc., Canada’s largest home-improvement retailer, named Robert Sawyer president and chief executive officer.

Sawyer, an executive at grocery store chain Metro Inc., will take over next month, the Boucherville, Quebec-based company said today in a statement. Acting CEO Dominique Boies will remain chief financial officer.

Rona revamped its board in January after its two largest shareholders, Pension funds Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and Invesco Canada Ltd., pushed out longtime CEO Robert Dutton amid dissatisfaction with five years of declining profitability. Dutton was at the helm when Rona last year rejected a C$14.50-a-share takeover offer from Lowe’s Cos.

Rona is now deciding whether to sell big-box stores outside Quebec and working to boost profit by cutting jobs and shrinking or selling underperforming units.

The shares rose 4 percent to C$10.98 at the close in Toronto. Rona has gained 2.9 percent this year.