Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s

Lowe's Marvin EllisonThe August 20 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 13th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s, President and CEO

PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Marvin Ellison has served as president and CEO of Lowe’s since July 2018, when he also joined the company’s board of directors. He brings more than 30 years of leadership and operational experience in the retail industry to Lowe’s. Before joining the company, Ellison was chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, where he implemented a turnaround strategy that improved the company’s balance sheet, increased store productivity, optimized operations and grew key categories.

In addition, he was employed in senior-level operations roles with The Home Depot for 12 years, serving as evp/U.S. stores from 2008 to 2014. He also spent 15 years at Target Corp. in a variety of operational and leadership roles.

WHAT TO WATCH: Ellison brings experience in the home improvement channel market to Lowe’s but also broad knowledge gained in his time as a leader at mid-tier and mass-market operations. To build on that expertise, he has helped propel a change in Lowe’s management structure since starting with the company just a few months ago, one that included eliminating the chief operating officer, chief customer officer, corporate administration executive and chief development officer positions.

At the same time, he has been hiring executives including Joseph McFarland, a former Home Depot and just recently J.C. Penney executive, as evp/stores, and Donald Frieson, a former Sam’s Club COO, as evp/supply chain. The high-profile appointments suggest Ellison intends to shake up the store, online and logistical facets of the Lowe’s business.

PERSPECTIVE: “We have taken a fresh look at our organizational structure and are realigning our leadership team to improve our focus, better leverage Lowe’s omnichannel capabilities and deliver increased value for our customers, associates and shareholders,” said Ellison.

2019 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):