Toronto-based general merchandise retailer Canadian Tire Corp. has made a sudden shift at the top of the company’s executive structure.
Stephen Wetmore, who previously served as CEO of Canadian Tire from 2009-2014, has been named president and CEO of the company, effective immediately. Wetmore, who has remained on the board of directors after leaving the CEO post, will remain a director of the company but step down as deputy chairman of the board.
The appointment is not an interim or short-term measure. He succeeds Michael Medline, who became president in 2013 and CEO in 2014.
"The board has taken a unanimous decision to change the leadership of the company at a time of unprecedented change in the retail industry," said Maureen Sabia, chairman of the board of directors of Canadian Tire. "While our short-term priorities are delivering results, the board's responsibility is the long-term success of Canadian Tire. Stephen transformed our company during his previous tenure and laid the foundation for our current performance. We believe he is uniquely qualified to lead the company through the increasing complexities of the new world of retail.”
During his previous tenure as CEO, Wetmore is credited with spearheading the acquisition of sporting goods retailer Forzani Group and streamlining how administrative functions are performed. Media reports indicate members of the board were concerned about the effectiveness of Medline’s attempts at improving digital and customer experience.
Canadian Tire’s retail division operates nearly 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets across Canada.