The Executive Team
Wolseley Canada's Strategic Leadership Team is an experienced and diverse group of leaders responsible for setting the strategic direction of and driving execution for the company.
They act with honesty, integrity and transparency, communicating priorities clearly, enabling their timely and efficient delivery in the best interests of Wolseley Canada and its employees.
CEO, Canada and Central Europe and Group Head of Corporate Development
Simon was appointed CEO, Canada and Central Europe in July 2016. He joined Wolseley in 2013 as head of mergers and acquisitions and separately overall responsibility for Wolseley France as Region Director. In addition to his role in Canada and Central Europe, Simon will retain responsibility for soak.com, Wolseley's business-to-consumer offering in the U.K. and Holland.
Simon has more than 25 years experience working in private equity and finance, including five years with Alchemy Partners and 10 years with Nikko Securities. During his career, Simon has served as a director for several large international businesses in a variety of different industries and has extensive operational and board-level experience.
Vice-President, Plumbing & HVAC/R
With more than 35 years in the industry, Akbar Makalai joined Wolseley Canada in November 2001. As the Vice-President, Plumbing and HVAC/R, Akbar has responsibility for all strategy and profit and loss for the division. He achieves his division’s goals through effective leadership and by ensuring that focused sales and marketing strategies are developed, executed and monitored.
Prior to leading the company’s largest division, Akbar’s roles included General Manager, British Columbia, Vice-President, Western Canada Plumbing and Waterworks, and most recently Vice-President, HVAC/R. Prior to joining Wolseley, Akbar had increasingly senior roles with Ideal Plumbing Group and served as the General Manager for B.A. Robinson Company.
Akbar is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s finance program and has studied at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
Vice-President, Industrial Group
Bryn Murray is Vice-President of Wolseley’s Industrial business in Canada. He is responsible for the strategic direction and continued performance of the division, including the company’s valve, valve actuation, pipe, fittings and flange business.
Having spent 10 years focused on industrial product marketing, Bryn joined Wolseley in 2003, with a mandate to increase market share and improve positioning of the core industrial valve portfolio. Since then Bryn has held the progressively senior roles of Regional Manager, Business Alignment Manager and National Sales Manager before serving as the General Manager of the Wolseley Industrial Products Group (Meridian) from 2008 to 2013.
Bryn is a graduate of the University of Alberta and holds a master’s degree in communications and technology. He has also studied at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Vice-President, Supply Chain
Chris Swartz is the Vice-President of Supply Chain responsible for the growth and optimization of all supply chain-related functions for the company. An innovative and decisive business leader with a track record of executing strategic objectives by leveraging international best practices and strong relationships, Chris leads the development and implementation of logistics, distribution centre and inventory management strategies for Wolseley.
With more than 15 years of experience in sophisticated and complex supply chain operations, Chris joined Wolseley from Maple Leaf Foods where he held the role of Director of Supply Chain Operations, North America. Prior to Maple Leaf, Chris served as Director of Logistics for Walmart Canada and Director of Operations for Gordon Food Service.
Chris holds a MBA from the Western University’s Ivey School of Business and is a Certified Management Accountant.
Chief Financial Officer
Peter Jirasek joined Wolseley Canada in 2015 as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, and is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the finance team within the organization. Peter and his team provide leadership and analytics to the company’s business leaders to drive Wolseley’s financial performance.
Peter joined Wolseley Canada from Wolseley Central Europe’s office in Switzerland, where he held the position of Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Peter was instrumental in supporting the Managing Director and leadership team on all aspects of commercial, strategic and financial decision-making. Prior to Wolseley, Peter held a number of progressive senior finance roles in the U.S. and Europe with MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV), a producer of packaging, specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals. Peter’s previous roles with MWV include Vice-President Finance, Tobacco Packaging, Vice-President Finance, European Folding Carton Operations, Vice-President Finance, Emerging Markets, and Chief Financial Officer, Alfred Wall GmbH.
Peter received his MBA from Bradley University. He also holds an engineering degree in information management, monetary economics and banking, and a bachelor’s degree in management systems, both from the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. In addition to English, Peter speaks Czech, German, Slovak, and Russian.
Guy Belliveau joined Wolseley Canada in July 2011. In his role as General Counsel, Guy is responsible for providing legal advice and services to all of Wolseley’s businesses in Canada. Additional responsibilities include risk management, insurance, health and safety, product integrity, compliance and governance.
Guy brings extensive experience working in a multinational organization. Before joining Wolseley, Guy was Director of Legal Services at Bombardier Aerospace – Commercial Aircraft, and previously practiced law with the law firm of Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales.
Fluently bilingual in English and French, Guy studied both Business and Law at the Université de Moncton. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Society of New Brunswick and the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. He also studied at the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
In his spare time, Guy enjoys travelling, hiking, running, cycling, tennis and basketball. In his last trip to Africa, Guy climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and he is looking forward to climbing his next mountain in Argentina.
Gail Kaufman was appointed Vice-Present, eBusiness, for Wolseley Canada in 2016. In this role, Gail is responsible for Wolseley’s eBusiness strategy development, driving the adoption of the channel throughout the business, and making eBusiness an integral part of Wolseley’s culture and value proposition.
Gail joined Wolseley in December 2005 in the newly created role of Director of Marketing. In this role, Gail was responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s marketing initiatives, including new programs, branding and eBusiness. One of Gail’s most notable achievements during her time as Director of Marketing was the national rebranding of 13 Wolseley-owned companies under the Wolseley Canada branding.
With extensive experience in both B2B and B2C environments, prior to joining Wolseley Gail had increasingly senior roles in automotive, both in wholesale distribution and manufacturing, with market-leading brands including Quaker State and Pennzoil. Gail also has extensive international experience. While with Shell’s international car care division, based in Houston, Texas, she led the development, management and multi-channel expansion of Shell’s car care product portfolio in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Gail has been a Director on the national board of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, is a member of the Executive/Finance Committee and is currently Chairman of the Wholesalers Division.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Gail also studied at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business and the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
Chief of Operations, Chief Information Officer
Eric Whaley joined Wolseley Canada in July 2014 in the role of Vice President of Information Technology (IT). He has more than 20 years experience in providing leadership for teams to achieve optimal business outcomes centred particularly on leveraging technology. In June 2016, Eric was appointed Chief Operations Officer and Chief Information Officer. As a member of the senior leadership team, Eric is responsible for leading the evolution of efficiencies in business processes and operations, the systematic execution of the enterprise project portfolio, and directing IT to guide Wolseley’s IT vision into reality.
Eric has a proven ability to tackle large, complex processes with a methodical approach. He brings a wealth of experience in business improvement achievements, having held positions as Chief Information Officer at the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), HSBC Securities Canada and CT Securities (TDCanada Trust). He was also the Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch HSBC Canada.
Eric is a graduate of the University of Windsor, where he studied computer science.
Eric and his wife, Shari, reside in Oakville, Ont. and have three children. Eric enjoys spending his free time with his family, playing sports and keeping abreast of disruptive technologies and start-up ventures.
Vice President, Sourcing and Product Management
Andy Schoepke joined Wolseley Canada in June 2015 in the role of Director, Sourcing and Product Management. In this role, Andy led all strategic sourcing, product management and vendor management activities in support of overall business and growth objectives. This role brought greater alignment to Wolseley’s sourcing activities and ensured strong and strategic partner relationships with our vendors.
In July 2016, Andy was promoted to Vice-President, Sourcing and Product Management. In this role, Andy holds responsibility for Wolseley Canada’s strategic sourcing, product management, product costing, and product master functions.
Andy brings to this role experience driving consistent and measureable year-over-year performance results. His background spans 20 years in defining and operating strategic sourcing and supply chain functions of iconic global businesses, most recently with Molson Coors as the Senior Director, Logistics and Distribution Transformation and PMO, and Senior Director, Supply Chain Strategy, Cost and Network Optimization. Prior to Molson Coors, Andy was the Senior Manager, Capital Projects Supply Chain and Procurement for Barrick Gold, and also Manager, Global Sourcing.
Andy is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a bachelor of science degree. He also holds a post-graduate certificate in business administration from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Currently, Andy is pursuing an executive MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business.
In his spare time, Andy enjoys exploring Canada’s great outdoors with his wife and three children.
Vice President, Human Resources
Kirk Larson joined Wolseley in February 2017 as the Vice-President of Human Resources.
Kirk brings nearly 30 years of HR leadership experience to his role, and provides strategic HR support to the Canadian leadership and HR teams. He is also responsible for the overall people development and execution of the company’s people strategy.
Prior to joining Wolseley, Kirk held several progressive executive HR positions with Rolls-Royce plc, including Executive Vice-President of HR. In this role, Kirk worked out of the company’s London, U.K. office and was a key member of the company’s global transformation team.
Kirk also worked at Rolls-Royce’s Reston, Va. office for three years as the Executive Vice-President of HR Service Operations. In this role he was responsible for ensuring HR service delivery to 55,000 employees, in 65 countries, and in 38 languages. Prior to his time with Rolls-Royce, Kirk held HR management positions with General Electric, Stanley Black and Decker, and Shell Oil.
Kirk is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in industrial relations and human resources.