84 Lumber Co. promoted Frank Cicero to chief operating officer, Dan Wallach to executive vice president/strategic initiatives, and Paul Lentz to chief financial officer, the LBM giant announced today.

With the move, Cicero takes the COO title that has been unused since Bill Myrick left 84 in February 2007 for ProBuild. Wallach most recently was chief financial officer, while Lentz had been controller. Cicero has worked for 84 for 27 years, while Wallach is a 20-year veteran and Lentz has been with the company for 24 years.

"Over the past four years especially, Frank and Dan have provided invaluable knowledge and leadership which has been instrumental in 84 Lumber being able to make the necessary decisions and strategic moves to come through the most significant housing downturn in history," 84 Lumber president and owner Maggie Hardy Magerko said in a statement. "In the process of this, I believe they both have discovered new and different ways to operate and a multitude of product and service areas which will help us to continue on our recovery growth path."

As for Lentz, Hardy Magerko said: "Beyond his financial expertise, Paul has proven over the years to possess an exceptionally positive attitude and excellent management skills that I know will be important factors as 84 Lumber continues to move forward growing market share and expanding our scope of products and services."

84's $1.35 billion in sales last year put it sixth on the latest ProSales 100 list of top LBM operations. A merger higher up the list has since moved it to fifth place. (See updated list.) At the start of this year it had just over 300 locations and 4,000 employees; in today's news release, the company said it operates 282 stores and component manufacturing plants in 35 states.

The housing crash has crippled 84's cash flow in recent years, forcing it in 2008 to get a $195 million, 18% interest loan. It has now paid off all but $55 million of that loan, and is attempting to pay off the rest through $20 million in federal community development block grant loans, a $20 million loan from Wells Fargo, $10 million from property sales and $5 million from Hardy Magerko. That refinancing could take place within the next few weeks.