(Montreal) Retailer Rona announced the appointment of a new chief executive on Friday, less than 24 hours after saying it was starting a restructuring and laying off 500 employees.

Andrew Iacobucci will work at the company’s headquarters in Boucherville, along with the other members of the board of directors, the home improvement giant said in a press release.

The new boss has 30 years of experience, including more than 20 leading teams and driving strategic projects in the retail and food distribution sectors. He was most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of US food retailer US Foods.

Mr. Iacobucci, who will live in the Boucherville area, learned French during his academic career, the company said. He will complete four weeks of immersion in a language school in Quebec City before taking office in July, “in order to be able to better communicate with employees and customers”.

Garry Senecal, who served as interim CEO, will remain with Rona until the end of the year to ensure the transition.

With the restructuring announced Thursday, Rona wants to further streamline its operations amid the “current economic downturn,” which is forcing it to “adapt to reflect new market realities.”

The company calculates that this simplification of its organizational structure will strengthen its market position and make it more efficient.

Rona has 425 corporate or affiliated stores across the country, which are operated under the Rona, Réno-Dépôt, Lowe’s and Dick’s Lumber banners.