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Home Depot names U.S. retail head Craig Menear as CEO

(Reuters) - Home Depot Inc named retail industry veteran Craig Menear as its chief executive, four months after he was appointed as head of the home improvement chain's U.S. retail business.

Menear succeeds Frank Blake, who has led the company since 2007. Blake will stay on as chairman, the company said in a statement.

Menear, 56, joined Home Depot in 1997 as a merchandising manager. He held various management positions before being named senior vice president of merchandising in 2003, according to the company's website.

The move comes as Home Depot tries to steer through a slow recovery in the U.S. housing market, where rising interest rates and low wage growth have stifled spending on new homes.

The company, on Tuesday, maintained its full-year sales growth forecast but offered a positive outlook for the rest of the year.

Home Depot said it expected same-store sales to grow faster in the second half of the year as homeowners spend more on repairing and remodeling their homes after a severe winter season.

Menear's move will be effective on Nov. 1, the company said.

Before joining Home Depot, Menear worked at furniture companies Ikea [IKEA.UL], Builders Emporium, Grace Home Centers and Montgomery Ward.

Blake, who led Home Depot through the financial recession, drove sales at the world's largest home improvement retailer from $66 billion in 2010 to $78 billion in 2013 - levels last seen before the recession.

The company's stock more than doubled during his six years at the helm.

Home Depot shares were little changed in extended trading after closing at $91.15 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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