Lowe's announced Monday that CEO Robert Niblock will retire from the home improvement retailer as soon as the company finds a successor.
Its shares jumped more than 6 percent in early trading following the announcement.
"After a 25-year career at Lowe's, including 13 years as chairman and CEO, I am confident that it is the right time to transition the company to its next generation of leadership," the 54-year-old Niblock said in a statement.
Lowe's has increasingly lagged behind its biggest rival, Home Depot. In the most recent quarter, same-store sales climbed a little more than 4 percent at Lowe's, while Home Depot reported an increase of 7.5 percent.
In January, activist investor D.E. Shaw & Co. built a stake in Lowe's, saying the firm was concerned about the retailer's performance relative to competitors.
The North Carolina-based retailer has since appointed new board members following talks with Shaw.
"We are optimistic that the company will attract a new, top notch talent to run the chain and that the whole of LOW will benefit from a 'fresh set of eyes' within its senior ranks," Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brian Nagel said.
Lowe's shares have fallen about 10 percent so far this year.