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HomeTechnologyMSC Industrial takes on challenges with a new chief operating officer

MSC Industrial takes on challenges with a new chief operating officer


MSC Industrial Supply Co. has appointed a new senior executive steeped in manufacturing experience to oversee day-to-day operations and promote growth and profitability, the company said today. MSC is a multibillion-dollar distributor of metalworking and industrial maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies that does more than half of its sales via ecommerce.

With Martina focused on further improving our day-to-day operations, we look forward to producing industry-leading levels of organic growth and profitability.

Erik Gershwind, president and CEO

MSC Industrial Supply Co.

Martina McIsaac, who takes over Oct. 3 as MSC Industrial Supply Co.’s first executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Martina McIsaac, who served in senior executive positions at manufacturers Hilti and Avery Dennison, will fill the newly created position of executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective Oct. 3.

McIsaac most recently was region head and CEO of Hilti Inc., the North American arm of Hilti Corp., a multinational company that designs, manufactures and markets hardware, software and services for the construction, building maintenance, energy and manufacturing industries. Prior to Hilti, McIsaac served in several Avery Dennison executive roles covering sales, marketing, operations and business development across North and South America.

MSC, McIsaac to face strong headwinds

McIsaac joins MSC at a time when the company has been dealing with challenges related to price inflation, supply chain disruption and labor shortages — issues that CEO Erik Gershwind cited in MSC’s most recent earnings call for the fiscal third quarter.

Gershwind says McIsaac “has shown a commitment to delivering meaningful solutions and value to customers to improve performance, which aligns well with our purpose and approach to helping manufacturers solve their mission-critical challenges and boost the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.”

He adds, “With Martina focused on further improving our day-to-day operations, we look forward to producing industry-leading levels of organic growth and profitability, enhancing operational excellence across our organization, and developing a diverse and talented team of future MSC leaders, while preserving and building upon our unique culture and values.”

As Martina moves into the COO position, she will begin to take on supply chain responsibilities now covered by Doug Jones, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer. He is planning to retire next year after more than 20 years as an MSC executive. Jones will remain during the transition full time until early 2023. He will then move to a part-time role to oversee completion of several supply chain initiatives, MSC says.

In April, MSC appointed its first chief digital officer, John Hill, a digital technology veteran who joined MSC from workwear manufacturer Carhartt. Hill is responsible for MSC’s ecommerce operations, which account for more than 60% of total sales.

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