Mark Baker goes West

A veteran retailer accepts new challenge with OSH

Earlier this year in a conference room in Orlando, Fla., former City of Hope Spirit of Life Award honoree Mark Baker found himself introducing his old friend and current honoree Craig Menear, executive VP merchandising for Home Depot.

During his remarks, Baker, himself a former Home Depot marketing chief, had this to say about the man-of-the-hour Menear: “He has the toughest job in retail. I know because I used to have that job.”

Fast forward two months and Baker, who most recently was president and COO of Scotts Miracle-Gro, finds himself as the incoming president and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Orchard Supply Hardware. The appointment comes after a four-month search process to replace Robert Lynch, who left to take the president and COO spot at Lumber Liquidators.

Leading the 80-year-old, 89-store Orchard Supply chain might not be the toughest job in retail — but it certainly has its challenges. For one, Baker will now be competing against Menear, Home Depot and other big boxes in California, and all of his stores are in a state known increasingly for intrusive regulations and high foreclosures. 

Still, there are a lot of homes that need repair in the Golden State. In a prepared statement, Baker said Orchard Supply is “an exceptional retailer with a unique value proposition comprised of service, selection and convenience.”

At Scotts, Baker led the company’s Global Consumer, Global Professional and Scotts Lawn Service businesses. In addition, he was CEO of the Gander Mountain Co., a leading outdoor retailer, and has held senior leadership roles at Scotty’s Inc. and Homebase Inc.