TOANO, Va. - John M. Presley is resigning as chief executive officer of Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL) effective yesterday, November 9, 2016. The board of directors has appointed Dennis R. Knowles, Chief Operating Officer, to succeed him.
Presley announced he had leukemia in an SEC filing earlier this year. Lumber Liquidators didn't say whether or not his current resignation was related to that. Presley has also resigned from the company's board of directors effective December 15, 2016 and Knowles will take over his seat. Presley shepherded the company through an extremely turbulent period following revelations of formaldehyde in its laminate flooring from China, which was falsely labeled as CARB compliant.
Matt Castilleja went from architecture student, to unpaid intern, to shop owner in just four years.
"The Company has benefited considerably from John's business experience and valuable insights for over 10 years as a board member, lead director, chairman and most recently as CEO," said Nancy Taylor, board chair. "I would like to thank John for his many years of service and for taking on the challenges of the last year."
Those challenges included news reports splashed repeatedly through the media, including two 60 Minutes reports, leading consumers to panic and tear up their floors. Lumber Liquidators acknowledged the mislabeling, and agreed to cease selling flooring made in China. The revelations also led the Environmental Protection Agency to issue standards on formaldehyde in panel. Those rules, due to be published soon, mimic California Air Resource Board - or CARB - rules.
Knowles joined the Company in March 2016 as Chief Operating Officer responsible for the Company's stores organization, sales, merchandising and marketing, installation, distribution and related operations. Mr. Knowles previously served in store operations leadership roles at Lowe's Companies, Inc. since 2001, most recently as Chief Store Operations Officer. In addition to overseeing store operations at Lowes, Knowles had broad strategic and operational leadership roles in merchandising, installation, internet sales, specialty sales, proprietary credit and communications, contributing to Lowe's growth in sales and earnings during his tenure there.
Presley served as a Director of Lumber Liquidators since April 2006, stepping forward in November, 2015 to be CEO. With 375 locations, Lumber Liquidators is North America's largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring.
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