A former Lowe’s executive—who had been a potential successor for the company’s current CEO—is alleging he lost his job due to racism.
Michael Jones became chief customer officer for Lowe’s in 2014, and The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that the position made him “a top contender” to eventually replace CEO Robert Niblock.
However, Jones left the big-box retailer in October and is now suing his former employer, according to The Charlotte Observer. The North Carolina newspaper provides ongoing news coverage of the big-box home improvement retailer, which is headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina.
Lowe’s has denied wrongdoing, the newspaper reports.
In his lawsuit, Jones alleges that he had been questioning “a wave of terminations of other African-American employees” prior to losing his job, The Charlotte Observer reports. He is suing the retailer for almost $12.5 million.
The lawsuit says that Jones lost his job even though he “improved Lowe’s business strategy in a number of tangible ways, including placing an emphasis on sales to professional customers,” according to the Observer article.
In recent months, the big-box retailer has confirmed layoffs and new job descriptions for thousands of its employees.