MOORESVILLE, N.C., Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. ( NYSE: LOW) announced today that Ross W. (Bill) McCanless will be joining the company as general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer, effective January 12, 2015. McCanless will replace Gaither M. Keener, who announced plans to retire from the company following 30 years of service.
McCanless is returning to Lowe's top legal role, a position he held from 2003 to 2006, after serving as chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary for Extended Stay America, Inc. and ESH Hospitality, Inc.—two NYSE-listed companies that own more than 650 extended stay hotels in the U.S. and Canada. In his new role, McCanless will be responsible for directing all legal matters for Lowe's and its subsidiaries as well as advising the chairman and board of directors on corporate governance matters.
"We are pleased to welcome Bill back to Lowe's," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "His combined legal and retail executive management experience is a great asset, and he already knows our company and culture well, having worked previously with many on our leadership team. We look forward to his return."
In addition to his previous legal experience, McCanless served in a number of executive management positions with Delhaize/Food Lion, including SVP, general counsel, secretary and chief administrative officer. He served as Delhaize America's president and CEO (from 1999 until 2002) as well as CEO of the Food Lion subsidiary during the same tenure. Prior to joining Food Lion, he spent seven years in private law practice in Salisbury, N.C. McCanless has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and earned his juris doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. He presently serves on the board of directors for Kewaunee Scientific Corporation.
Gaither Keener began his career at Lowe's in 1985 as corporate counsel after serving as a member of a private law firm for which Lowe's was a client. He served as chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and secretary since 2006. Keener has served on the board of directors of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation since 2005. He served in the United States Marine Corps, has a bachelor's degree from Western Carolina University, and a juris doctor degree from Wake Forest University Law School.
"Gaither will surely be missed. We have benefited from both his legal expertise and creative solutions as he advised the company and our board of directors over the years," Niblock added. "We wish him the best in his well-earned retirement."
Lowe's Companies, Inc. ( NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe's has more than 1,835 home improvement and hardware stores and 260,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.