MARYSVILLE, Ohio -The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG) announced that Barry Sanders, president and chief operating officer, will depart the Company Jan. 31, 2015.

Since the beginning of 2014, Scotts Miracle-Gro has eliminated approximately 25 percent of its leadership roles at the senior vp level or higher. The Ohio-based home and garden company intends to have completed the majority of these efforts by the end of the first half of fiscal 2015, said Scotts Miracle-Gro in a news release.

"Two years ago, we committed to our shareholders that we would improve the focus and profitability of this Company and we continue to deliver on this promise," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer.

"The decisions we have made over the past year have often been difficult, but none more difficult than this one. Barry’s contributions to ScottsMiracle-Gro during his 15-year tenure were significant and we will continue to benefit from the result of that leadership for years to come. 

"While we are the leader in the lawn and garden industry, we are modestly sized compared to other leading consumer goods companies. So when we objectively assessed our organizational structure, we realized we had more layers of executive decision-making than we needed. Therefore we decided to further de-layer and divide Barry’s duties appropriately."

Mike Lukemire, who leads the North American consumer business, will become COO. The entire global consumer segment will report to Lukemire as will Scotts LawnService. Strategic planning will report to Hagedorn.

"I agree that continuing to streamline the executive ranks of the organization is the right move for ScottsMiracle-Gro at this time and Mike Lukemire, who has been engaged in nearly all parts of the business during his 20-year tenure, is the right choice for this role," Sanders said. "While I will deeply miss my colleagues, I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to help lead this great company. I wish them continued success as I now look ahead to beginning the next chapter in my life and career."

Jim Gimeson will assume sole leadership of Scotts LawnService. Gimeson and Mark Wilhelmi have been co-leaders of this business since last summer as part of a transition plan related to Wilhelmi’s planned retirement after 40 years with the Company. 

More About Mike Lukemire

Lukemire began his ScottsMiracle-Gro career in 1995, and has had several assignments, including director of operations; vp of manufacturing; and senior vp of global supply chain. After serving as vp of global technologies and operations, he was named regional president, responsible for leading the Company’s business development, marketing and sales efforts in the southeastern U.S. He eventually led the entire North American sales function until 2014 when he was named executive vp for the entire North American business.

More About Jim Gimeson

Gimeson began his career at ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2008 as the finance lead for Smith & Hawken before briefly leading the global purchasing team. Afterward, he was named senior vp of strategic planning before being named to lead two of the company’s flagship business units, including the iconic Scotts and Miracle-Gro brands. In that role, Gimeson led overall strategy, marketing, brand development, operational planning and tactical performance of the brands. He was named chief operating officer of Scotts LawnService in 2014.

Before joining ScottsMiracle-Gro, Gimeson was president and COO for the Longaberger Company, a direct marketing company of home d_cor products. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum University and completed his MBA at The Ohio State University’s Max M. Fisher College of Business.