Deidra (Dee) Merriwether is the senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) of W.W. Grainger, Inc., a $15.2 billion leading broadline distributor with operations primarily in North America, Japan, and the United Kingdom (UK). She oversees the company's financial activities, including controllership, treasury, financial analysis, investor relations, internal audit, tax, and financial operations. She is also responsible for Grainger’s corporate strategy, analytics, real estate, and operations in the UK under the Cromwell brand.
Before becoming CFO in 2021, Dee served as senior vice president and president of North American Sales and Services. She was responsible for sales, inventory management solutions, and customer engagement strategies in Canada, Latin America, and the United States. She also served as senior vice president of Direct Sales and Strategic Initiatives, leading the US sales team, pricing strategy, and gross margin optimization. In 2017, Dee developed and launched Grainger’s new pricing strategy, reinvigorating the company’s relationships with large and medium customers. Dee joined Grainger in 2013 as vice president of Finance, Americas, leading financial planning and analysis for Canada, Latin America, and the United States.
Dee is an accomplished leader with more than two decades of broad management, operations, and financial experience. She started her career as an engineer and production leader at Eli Lilly and gained valuable finance and M&A experience at Isiah Investments and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She held both general management and financial roles of increasing responsibility at Sears Holdings, departing as chief operating officer in 2013. Over her career, she has been known for delivering customer results and consistent top quartile performance.
Dee earned an MBA in finance and operations management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. While at Indiana University, she was a member of the Kelley School Dean’s Council and the Women’s MBA Advisory Board. She is also a graduate of the Executive Accounting Program at the University of Texas, a fellow of the CEO Perspectives at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and she attended the CFO Leadership program at Harvard Business School.
She previously served as the chair of the finance and investment committee for the March of Dimes. Currently, she is a member of the Weyerhaeuser Board of Directors, the world’s largest timberland operator. She supports her passions for children’s health and leadership development as a member of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Board, Women Corporate Directors, and The Chicago Network. She shares her experience and knowledge as a speaker for both student and alumni events at Indiana University and North Carolina A&T State University and across numerous other industrial, financial, and supply chain organizations.