(Reuters) - Rona Inc
Shares of Rona rose as much as 6 percent on Tuesday after it said Sawyer, a former chief operating officer at Metro Inc
The Boucherville, Quebec-based company transformed itself from a modest hardware distributor to a national retailer in the 1990s. It has stumbled in recent years, though, as U.S.-based Home Depot Inc
The decision to bring in an outsider as CEO is the latest step in a plan to revive the company. It named a new executive chairman and reshuffled its board in January, a few months after it rebuffed an unsolicited C$1.8 billion ($1.76 billion) takeover proposal from Lowe's.
Earlier this year, Executive Chairman Robert Chevrier said Rona planned to sell certain assets and make some "drastic moves" to address weak sales at its big-box stores. The company owns about 80 big-box stores and more than 700 smaller-format ones.
Chevrier had previously indicated that other parties besides Lowe's had shown interest in some of Rona's assets.
Sawyer, who spent more than 30 years at Metro, specialized in retail operations and distribution to dealers and helped improve profitability in several areas, Rona said.
"He will play a key role in simplifying and optimizing the Rona business model," Chevrier said. "Robert has the operational and turnaround expertise needed to put Rona back on the path to profitable growth."
Rona shares were up 4.4 percent at C$11.025 in morning Toronto Stock Exchange trading after touching a high of C$11.19.
($1 = 1.0218 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Additional reporting by Krithika Krishnamurthy in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Lisa Von Ahn)
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