Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock to retire; shares jump 6 percent

  • Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock will retire once a successor is found.
  • He has served at the home improvement retailer for more than two decades.

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.