Chief Operating Officer
Core & Main
Core & Main Fire Protection
Brad Cowles is the chief operating officer of Core & Main, a leading distributor of waterworks and fire protection infrastructure products in the U.S. Cowles also is president of the Fire Protection business, an industry-leading distributor and fabricator with approximately 35 branch locations and 15 fabrication centers nationwide. In addition to his direct responsibility for the Fire Protection business, he also drives key capital-intensive growth initiatives for the company, including market development for smart metering and fusible piping.
Cowles has 25 years of strategic leadership experience in growth-focused organizations. After being named chief operating officer of HD Supply Waterworks in 2017, he took the helm of the Fire Protection business in 2018. Previously, Cowles served as chief information officer (CIO) of HD Supply, the parent company of Core & Main until it became independent in August 2017. As CIO, Cowles led the business-focused technology organization through more than 30 acquisitions, a divestiture from The Home Depot under private equity ownership, and through rapid growth that led to becoming a publicly-traded, independent company. Cowles originally joined HD Supply in 2005 as senior manager, mergers and acquisitions, and was promoted to director of IT, senior director of IT, and vice president of IT roles culminating as CIO in 2015. In 2016, he was recognized with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Year Award from the Georgia CIO Leadership Association.
Prior to joining HD Supply, Cowles spent 10 years with Michelin in the U.S. and France where he started as a tire design engineer, with promotions to R&D quality engineer, technical services manager and program manager.
Cowles holds both a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in gas dynamics and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with honors from the University of Florida. He is fluent in French. He serves as an advisory board member of Georgia CIO.
About Core & Main
Based in St. Louis, Core & Main is a leading distributor of water, sewer, storm drain and fire protection products in the United States. Operating approximately 275 branches nationwide, the company combines local expertise with a national supply chain to provide contractors and municipalities innovative solutions for new construction and aging infrastructure. Core & Main’s 3,500 plus associates are committed to the safe distribution of water and fire protection to help communities thrive. Visit www.coreandmain.com to learn more.
Senior Manager, Communications