Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) on Friday announced the promotion of Larry D. Stone to be the next president and chief operating officer of the firm, effective immediately.

The role of chief operating officer is a new position within the Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement firm. Stone has worked in the company for 37 years. He was the company’s senior executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. The company says stone has served in nearly every leadership position, including store operations, merchandise and store environment.

Larry is a true leader who has excelled in every assignment since joining the company and will do an outstanding job leading all of our line functions, said Chairman and CEO Robert A. Niblock. He has a deep understanding of our operations and a real passion for customer service. Larry played a key role in transforming Lowe's into the successful company we are today, and he has certainly earned this promotion.

Stone will continue to report to Niblock, who served as president since 2003. The position requires Stone to have responsibility for store operations; merchandising; marketing; logistics and distribution; merchandising and store support; and Lowe’s Canadian operations.

Lowe’s shares were down 5 cents or 0.16 percent to close at $31.41 in Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.