Report: Interline Brands CEO To Retire In January

The Jacksonville Business Journal says CEO Michael Grebe will stay with the company until Jan. 15, with current COO Ken Sweder to take over the role.

According to a report by the Jacksonville Business Journal on Friday, Interline Brands CEO Michael Grebe is retiring from the company in January.

Grebe has been with Interline Brands for 17 years, including 13 years as CEO.

Interline was No. 19 on Industrial Distribution's 2015 Big 50 List, and was bought by Home Depot in July for $1.63 billion.

The Jacksonville Business Journal cites an internal memo to Interline staff in which Grebe, 58, said "I have every confidence in the world that Interline will be immensely successful teamed up with Home Depot. Our cultures are very similar and aligned."

The report states that Grebe will stay with the company until Jan. 15, at which point Ken Sweder will become Interline's new CEO and a senior vice president at Home Depot. Sweder has previously served as Interline president and COO and has been with the company since 2008. He will answer directly to Bill Lennie, the executive vice president of outside sales and service.

The Jacksonville Business Journal quotes Interline vice president of marketing and e-commerce Paula Drum saying that Sweder, 46, has worked closely with Grebe over the last eight years, and that Sweder "has handled all aspects of the company, with a wide breadth of knowledge of the business."

Drum told the JBJ, "There is a whole succession plan Mike has. It was well-thought out, well-planned and well-executed. It doesn't come about overnight, this was quite a while in the making."