MSC Digital Executive Resigns

The company recently pinned a rough quarter, in part, on its “web price realignment.”

MSC office, Houston, April 2021.
MSC office, Houston, April 2021.

MSC Industrial Supply’s inaugural chief digital information officer departed the company after just over two years in the role, officials said last week.

John Hill, who joined MSC from workwear company Carhartt as senior vice president and chief digital information officer in April 2022, resigned effective June 12, the company disclosed in a filing with the SEC. He oversaw digital strategy, e-commerce, vending, and other technology and analytics functions.

The move took effect the day before MSC announced “preliminary” results for its recently completed fiscal quarter, which included a more than 7% drop in sales year-over-year and a revised outlook that now anticipates a 4.3% to 4.7% decline in annual revenue.

READ: MSC Slashes Forecast After ‘Softer than Expected’ Quarter 

Company officials blamed the results on a troublesome “web price realignment," along with a soft heavy manufacturing environment, slow growth among core customers, and headwinds in its product and customer mix.

MSC CEO Erik Gershwind said Friday during a call with analysts that the company’s website improvements were “behind schedule,” which, in turn, affected its marketing efforts and its ability to target new customers. Unexpected problems with the complex new system also contributed to a quarterly decline in gross margin, Gershwind said.

“When we moved from pilot to full rollout, the complexity of our pricing and discounting systems produced some anomalous results, including unintended extra discounting,” Gershwind told analysts. “The pilot, which was smaller in volume and contained fewer product lines, was not robust enough to surface these complexities.

“We've taken corrective actions to address this, and we started seeing improvements in gross margin trending as of the last week of May and into early June.”

Under a separation agreement, Hill will receive cash severance of $550,000 over 12 months, along with vested stock awards and a payment to cover continued healthcare coverage. Brian Bello, a 15-year veteran of the company’s IT operation, was named as its interim leader.

MSC is slated to report its completed quarterly results on July 2.

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