UPDATE 3-Canada's Rona brings in outsider as CEO; shares rise

Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:05pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

* Home improvement chain hands helm to grocery executive

* Move is the latest step in Rona's turnaround plan

* Rona may close, remodel some of its big box stores

* Serious talks to sell its industrial division

* Stock closes up 4 pct on Toronto Stock Exchange

By Solarina Ho

March 19 (Reuters) - Rona Inc, Canada's top home-improvement retailer and distributor, has chosen a long-time supermarket chain executive as CEO, putting Robert Sawyer in charge as it fights back against growing competition from U.S. rivals.

Rona shares rose as much as 6 percent on Tuesday after it said Sawyer, former chief operating officer at Metro Inc , would replace acting Chief Executive Dominique Boies next month. Rona's longtime CEO, Robert Dutton, stepped down in November.

The Boucherville, Quebec-based company transformed itself from a modest hardware distributor to a national retailer in the 1990s. But it stumbled in recent years as U.S.-based Home Depot Inc and Lowe's Cos Inc, the world's top two home-improvement chains, expanded their presence in Canada.   Continued...