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Lowe's names top merchandising exec

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lowe's Cos. said Thursday that Michael A. Jones will join the nation's second largest home improvement retailer as its chief merchandising officer.

Jones was most recently an executive vice president and president of Husqvarna North and Latin America, which sells lawn and garden equipment for homeowners. He succeeds Bob Gfeller who last May was named as customer experience design executive.

As chief merchandising officer, Jones will be responsible for the merchandise being offered at Lowe's stores and lowes.com as well as global sourcing activities. He will work with the leaders of marketing, operations and logistics to help develop and shape customer experiences.

Jones will report to Gregory M. Bridgeford, Lowe's chief customer officer.

Lowe's also announced that Stephen J. Szilagyi has been promoted to supply chain executive and will report to Chief Operating Officer Rick D. Damron. The job is to oversee Lowe's distribution network that delivers merchandise and supplies to Lowe's stores.

Shares of Lowe's, which is based in Mooresville, N.C., rose 52.1 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $38.40 in midday trading Thursday. They rose as high as $38.50 earlier in the day, their highest level ever, according to FactSet.