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James T. Ryan will head up this unit. Other units encompass the company's international businesses, including Grainger's Canadian and Mexican operations, and Lab Safety Supply, the direct marketing business. All of the units now report directly to Chairman and CEO Richard L. Keyser.
'Our new structure is exactly what we need to execute on our strategies and to grow sales and earnings. We are just beginning to see the results of the actions we took late last year and plan to accelerate our expansion program in the U.S.,' Keyser said.
'Under Jim Ryan's leadership, we are aligning our operational strengths, including sales and supply chain, to better serve our customers.
At the same time, we have exceptional opportunities to expand Lab Safety Supply through acquisitions. And, with more manufacturing jobs moving offshore, Grainger has an ongoing business development effort to evaluate the opportunities to supply maintenance products to overseas operations. I look forward to working closely with each of our businesses over the coming years to drive our results and capture more market share. Grainger is well positioned to do both.'
Executive Vice President James T. Ryan has been selected group president of the Grainger-branded businesses in the U.S. 'Jim Ryan has demonstrated continuous leadership excellence in his 24 years with Grainger. He has a successful track record in product management, information technology, marketing, sales, customer service and e-commerce, which makes him the logical choice to lead the company's largest business unit.'
Ryan, 45, joined Grainger in 1980 in product management. He was promoted to president, Grainger's parts division, in 1994; vice president for information services in 1996, and president of Grainger.com in 2000. He became executive vice president of marketing, sales, and service in 2002.
Clark's decision to leave the company is effective Jun. 1. He will also resign from the board and not stand for reelection to Grainger's board of directors at the annual meeting to be held later this month. As a result, the company will reduce the number of directors from 11 to 10.