Pep Boys (PBY - NYSE) was one of ten CEO changes I selected out of a total two hundred and eight CEO changes in the month of March 2007 investors might wish to reconsider for potential investment opportunity.
On March 13th, Pep Boys, a leading automotive retail and service chain, appointed Jeffrey C. Rachor as the company's new president, CEO and director of the firm. Rachor until his new appointment was the president and COO of Sonic Automotive (SAH - NASDAQ) one of the nation's largest automobile retailers. A real car guy, Rachor appeared to do a good job while at Sonic. During his 10 year stint at the firm, he showed himself to be a real "hands on" executive which could work well for the Pep Boys business model. Sonic's stock during his 10 year stint performed terrifically. He is expected to remain a director at Sonic which could be viewed as a positive indication of how he is still viewed by Sonic management.
Pep Boys has been under increasing pressure, the firm has been caught in the cross hairs of activist hedge fund investors (Ramius Capital, Pirate Capital, and Barington Capital) who have played a part in getting the company to make changes in management and focus. In fact, some of the Hedge funds have recently got on the company's board.
Rachor's appointment appears to have been a really good choice. He has quickly begun visiting the company's different stores to get a feel for the business and what is transpiring. His background and nuts and bolts expertise should serve him well at the company. After some expected up time, it's likely he will work on revising the company's overall strategic approach to the market.
Keep an eye on Rachor and Pep Boys.