Management Turnover as Change Agent

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New CEO at Advance Auto Parts Is Making Changes

Advance Auto Parts' AAP (NYSE) new CEO, Darren Jackson, has already begun to try and make his mark on the company. Jackson, who started as Advance's new CEO in early January after coming to the company from Best Buy, announced he will be bringing over additional executives from Best Buy to help Advance move forward and improve its relationship with customers. According to a story by Jenny Kincaid Boone in the Roanoke Times,
(Advance Auto Parts) the Roanoke-based automobile parts and accessories retailer announced three new executive hires, who all are former employees of Minnesota-based Best Buy.

One of Jackson's new hires is Michael Norona, who will be Advance's executive vice president and chief financial officer. Norona, previously president of financial services at Best Buy, replaces Michael Moore, who resigned as Advance's CFO.

Advance's new vice president of finance and investor relations is Judd Nystrom, who was senior director of retail finance at Best Buy. Adam Bergman, Advance's former investor relations representative, left the company last year.

Kevin Freeland will be Advance's new executive vice president of supply chain and information technology. He formerly was president and founder of Optimal Advantage, a retail consulting firm. But for eight years prior to that, he worked for Best Buy in several leadership roles. He's replacing C. Roy Martin, who has resigned as senior vice president of supply chain.
While none of these executives have a background in auto parts, their retail expertise and ability to work with Jackson could mean real positive change for the company. Keep a close eye on the continuing changes Jackson is attempting to make to the firm.

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bestonline323 said...

When Advance reported fourth quarter 2006 results, I said:

Yet, I think Mike Coppolla's (Advance Auto Parts CEO) statement on the company's conference call yesterday morning (opening quote) was a good sign that the industry is beginning to notice something is wrong. Admitting there is a problem is the first step. It is early days, and things (like sales and earnings) may very well get worse in 2007 before they get better.

But it is one of the first signs I have seen that the industry is ready for change. And if things play out as I think they might, it may begin to move automotive aftermarket retailers in a really exciting new direction. One that rewards automotive repair customers and shareholders of auto parts distributors.

What gives me a little more optimism about the space? Mr. Coppolla didn't just say Advance is taking a step back and reassessing opportunities (as I began with in the opening quote). He went on to say that they are using both internal and external resources to help the company understand the growth potential of the business and the major customer segments. He said that the knowledge they gain from this research (hopefully completed by 2Q07) will help them better serve their customers, help define the company's growth strategy, and ultimately help determine where/how the company should deploy its resources going forward.

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Derrick Trucks said...

After they appointed a new CEO, things have changed a lot. This is really good for all the people searching the best auto parts.

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