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Don Frieson | KPAC Board

Donald Frieson
Senior Logistics & Operations Executive

Broad-spectrum business experience and continuous, rapid advancement across 30-year career with Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s in US and abroad.

Visionary and disciplined leader known for having driven seamless logistics and operations excellence which advanced the profitability and footprint of two of the largest retailers in the world

Career Highlights

  • Efficiency Gains: Piloted two initiatives that streamlined workflow and drove efficiency, increasing units-per-labor-hour by nearly 2% and decreasing actual hours worked by 2.5% in first year. Led reorganization that eliminated 1,250 roles and increased scope of leadership positions.
  • Business Restructuring: Designed and executed business restructuring that re-engineered workflow in stores, generating $113M in labor savings in one year. Additionally, produced $50M around workforce planning by launching a tiered staffing model linked to revenue, revising job descriptions and deploying labor-saving technology
  • Large Scale Transformation: Lead $1.7B transformation of an outdated supply chain to support new economies of scale technology, omni-channel fulfillment and innovative market delivery strategy.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Reached 92% satisfaction on employee engagement survey — a 3% increase over predecessor’s score and 20% higher than the retail industry benchmark. Personally met with employees in each functional area to learn about their processes and challenges.
  • Financial Performance: Delivered 5% net profit annually through laser focus on sales and management of P&L statements. Introduced “Item of the Week,” featuring locally relevant merchandise at great prices.
  • Productivity Improvement: Restructured backroom distribution process, driving 5% increase in associate productivity across division.

Profile

Donald E. Frieson is the Executive Vice President, Supply Chain, of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., the world’s second largest home improvement retailer, where he is leading a large-scale transformation. His responsibilities include the management of distribution centers, logistics, emergency management center, omni-channel fulfillment, transportation and delivery services.

Donald’s visionary leadership in business operations, supply chain and fleet management previously helped drive the profitability and global footprint of Wal-Mart, Inc., the largest retailer in the world. During his 18-year tenure, Donald achieved rapid and continuous advancement into new roles approximately every two years to build his skill set across multiple business disciplines and divisions, including Walmart stores and Sam’s Club. Donald retired in 2017, as Executive Vice President of Sam’s Club Operations, where he directed all operations for Walmart’s $58B warehouse chain, with 652 locations throughout the US and Puerto Rico.

Donald is proficient in the full range of logistics and operations leadership functions, from strategic planning/execution to process improvement, global sourcing and real estate development. He is widely recognized as a cost containment expert and orchestrated a $20M annualized expense reduction through business restructuring. In addition, Donald is known for his leadership development skills. He personally mentored 35+ emerging leaders, 10 of whom have been promoted to senior positions.

In 2011, Donald was selected for a two-year assignment to direct Walmart’s first integration in Africa after it became the majority shareholder of Massmart, a holding company with six retail banners and 300+ units in 13 sub-Saharan African nations. In this role, he leveraged Walmart’s size and scale to reduce Massmart’s purchasing costs by 12% and optimized joint-business planning to negotiate more favorable contracts with shared suppliers. Donald also seamlessly transitioned Massmart entities to Walmart’s financial reporting systems, ensuring compliance with US accounting and Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

Before joining Walmart in 1999, Donald spent 12 years advancing through the logistics and operations management ranks at Schneider National Carriers, a national trucking and logistics provider. In his final role at Schneider, he oversaw the largest operating center in the company’s network, with 2,000+ drivers and a customer base that included Walmart and Kimberly Clark.

Currently, Donald is a member of the board of directors for Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY), an Ankeny, Iowa based 2400+ chain of convenience stores primarily located in the Midwest where he sits on the compensation and nominating/governance committees. Donald currently serves as a representative on the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee for Supply Chain Competitiveness. In 2022, Don was named one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.

Donald is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where he currently serves on the Haslam College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. He is also a graduate of Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Executive Education Program.

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Martin Raxton
[email protected]
404-276-2121

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