MELVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MSC INDUSTRIAL DIRECT CO., INC. (NYSE: MSM) , "MSC" or the "Company," the premier distributor of Metalworking and Maintenance, Repair and Operations ("MRO") supplies to industrial customers throughout the United States, today announced that Erik Gershwind will become President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2013, as part of the Company's previously announced succession plan. Mr. Gershwind, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed current Chief Executive Officer, David Sandler. Upon the completion of this transition on January 1st and as previously announced, Mr. Sandler will serve as Executive Vice Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors until at least calendar year 2017. As Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Sandler will continue to play an important role in the Company, providing leadership and guidance to the Company's executive team. Additionally, Chairman of the Board Mitchell Jacobson will become Non-Executive Chairman. Under the succession plan, which has been in place since October 2010, Mr. Gershwind was selected by the Company's Board of Directors as the successor to Mr. Sandler as the Company's Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gershwind, age 41, was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in October 2009 and promoted to President in October 2011. In October 2010, he was appointed a member of the Company's Board of Directors. For more than 16 years, Mr. Gershwind has managed key aspects of MSC's business, beginning with mergers and acquisitions in 1996 and expanding into sales, product management, marketing and e-Commerce. In 1999, he established MSC's highly successful internet business. Since 2008, Mr. Gershwind has led the Company's strategic team responsible for defining and directing business strategy. Mr. Sandler commented, "I would like to congratulate Erik on his appointment to Chief Executive Officer. Erik has worked diligently through positions of increasing responsibility during his extensive tenure at MSC and has demonstrated a strong history of accomplishment, leadership and contribution to defining and driving the Company's strategy. He has an intimate understanding of the needs of our customers and all stakeholders, deep expertise in our industry and the vision to bring MSC into the future. I wish Erik all the best in his new role, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition. I have never been more confident about the future of our Company."