UPDATE 1-Lowe's COO retiring, won't be replaced

Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:24pm EST

* COO Stone stepping down in June

* Shares down 3 percent in afternoon trading

NEW YORK Jan 28 (Reuters) - Home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos Inc (LOW.N) said that its chief operating officer is retiring in the spring but it will not replace him in that role.

Larry Stone, who has been with Lowe's for nearly 42 years and also serves as president, will retire on June 2, the company said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Lowe's said it was laying off 1,700 middle managers across the United States. The company has been looking at ways to cut costs amid tepid demand for expensive home renovations as the U.S. economy continues to recover slowly. [ID:nSGE70P01X]

Lowe's shares were down 3 percent to $25.45 in midafternoon trading. (Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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