Carrying out a succession plan it had announced last year, the Melville industrial equipment supplier MSC Industrial Direct Inc. has a new president.
Erik Gershwind, 40, who in the late 1990s developed MSC's online operations as director of eCommerce, retains his role as chief operating officer and takes on the role of president for MSC, with about $2 billion in annual sales and a workforce of 4,000.
A 15-year employee of the company, before the promotion Gershwind had the title of executive vice president. He is a Harvard Law School graduate.
In early trading Monday, the company's shares (MSM) were up $0.95 to $67.64. It made $201.6 million on sales of $1.95 billlion during the past 12 months and its share price rose 14 percent during that period.
Founded in 1941 by Sid Jacobson, MSC put out its first Big Book catalog in 1964. It has more than 90 branches and four major customer centers nationwide.
MSC sells online and through its Big Book, which for 2010-2011 lists 500,000 items. Its products include supplies for metalworking, emergency preparedness, maintenance and repair, and it has a major specialty provisioning schools and colleges.
As president Gershwind will continue to report to David Sandler, the company's chief executive. However, if the company continues to follow its previously announced succession plan, Gershwind will replace Sandler within the next couple of years.
Sandler said Gershwind "has demonstrated himself to be a cultural leader with a passion for winning, for working cross-functionally, and for driving us to always do better."
He is "deeply committed to our culture and to ensuring that our customer focus remains imbedded into everything that we do," Sandler said.
Photo: Erik Gershwind, 40, has been named the new president of MSC Industrial Direct Inc.
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