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Orchard Supply Hardware CEO to depart

As Lowe's acquires Orchard Supply Hardware, Mark Baker will depart
Richard D. Maltsbarger, incoming Orchard president

Moorsesville, N.C.-based Lowe's said it expects to complete its West Coast acquisition of 72 Orchard Supply Hardware stores by the end of August. When that happens, current CEO Mark Baker will be replaced at the helm of Orchard Supply by Lowe's executive Richard D. Maltsbarger, the retailer announced yesterday.

Baker, a former Home Depot executive, took over the Orchard Supply job back in March of 2011. According to the press release announcing the move, Baker "informed Lowe's of his decision to accept a position as president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots association following the closing."

Before joining Orchard, Baker served as president and CEO for Scotts Miracle-Gro. Previously, Baker served in a variety of senior roles at The Home Depot during his seven years there, including executive VP merchandising. In addition, he was CEO of the Gander Mountain Co., an outdoor retailer, and has held senior leadership roles at Scotty's Inc. and Homebase, Inc.

Maltsbarger led the Lowe's team that worked on the acquisition of Orchard.

"We are confident that Orchard's talented management team, led by Richard Maltsbarger, will continue to execute their successful repositioning strategy and deliver long-term profitable growth," said Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock. 

Orchard will also lean on executive leadership from Steven Mahurin, chief retail officer and Chris Newman, CFO and head of development.

Lowe's says that it intends to run Orchard as a separate, standalone business and keep its headquarters in San Jose, Calif. 

To acquire the California-based hardware-store chain's 72 stores, Lowe's will pay about $205 million, and also assume the payables owed to nearly all of Orchard's supplier partners. The deal was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware yesterday.

Lowe's currently operates 110 stores in California, compared to Home Depot's California store count of 223. According to Lowe's, Orchard brings locations in "high-density, prime locations" and smaller, neighborhood stores that are expected to complement its big-box presence in the state. 


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