AutoZone Announces Leadership Changes

AutoZone Announces Leadership Changes

Longtime President and CEO Bill Rhodes will step down in January, among other leadership changes.

Photo caption: Philip Daniele III (left) will succeed Bill Rhodes, who will relinquish his positions as president and CEO in January.

Over the past few months, AutoZone has announced multiple leadership changes at the company.

In late June, AutoZone announced Bill Rhodes’ decision to relinquish his positions as president and CEO effective January 2024. Rhodes will become executive chairman of the board.

The company has selected Philip Daniele III, currently executive vice president merchandising, marketing and supply chain, to succeed Rhodes as CEO in January 2024. Daniele, a 29-year AutoZoner, also will become a member of the board of directors.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Bill for his outstanding leadership during his more than 18 years as our CEO, and we are excited and grateful that he will remain actively involved as executive chairman and an officer of the company,” said Earl G. Graves Jr., lead director. “Bill, the executive committee and CEO team have led the company through unprecedented growth while continuing to nurture and evolve AutoZone’s unique and powerful culture. AutoZone is eternally grateful for his many contributions during his almost 30 years of service.”

Rhodes has been president and CEO and on the board of directors since March 2005. In June 2007, he was named chairman of the board. During his tenure as president and CEO, the company has roughly doubled the number of stores; grown the number of AutoZoners to approximately 115,000; increased revenues by more than three times, this year surpassing $17 billion; and grown the stock price by more than 25 times. Rhodes also has served on numerous industry and community boards.

“Being an AutoZoner and having the opportunity to help lead this amazing team has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Rhodes said. “I’m incredibly excited that the board has elected Phil as CEO-Elect. Phil and I have worked together very closely for over 25 years. Phil knows this company as well as anybody and has a passion for this business that is arguably un-paralleled. More importantly, Phil understands AutoZone’s success has been driven by a deep, passionate set of leaders who support great AutoZoners across the globe. He embodies what our founder J.R. Hyde III’s father taught us when he said, ‘No individual builds a business … an individual builds the organization, and the organization builds the business.’”

Newbern, Jackson Promoted

On Sept. 18, AutoZone announced several additional leadership changes in the offing.

AutoZone has promoted Tom Newbern, currently executive vice president, operations, sales and technology, to chief operating officer. Newbern has been with the company for 38 years.

AutoZone has promoted, Jamere Jackson, currently chief financial officer and executive vice president, finance and store development, to chief financial officer. Jackson will continue to lead the finance and store development teams.

Daniele is positioning Newbern and Jackson as equivalents and the senior-most leaders of his leadership team.

Additionally, Bill Hackney, a 38-year AutoZoner, currently senior vice president, merchandising, has been promoted to executive vice president, merchandising, marketing and supply chain replacing Daniele, who previously held the role.

“I’m very excited about these strategic moves, which position us well for continued growth,” Daniele said. “Jamere and Tom are exceptional leaders and having them at my side will be an enormous benefit. Also, Bill Hackney’s promotion to executive vice president reflects the deep strength of our leadership team. All are proven leaders and poised to serve our customers and lead our company for many years to come.”

Finally, three of AutoZone’s other executive committee members will be retiring around the end of the calendar year, consistent with AutoZone’s long-standing succession plan.

Retiring are Grant McGee, senior vice president, commercial; Charlie Pleas, senior vice president, finance and accounting; and Al Saltiel, senior vice president, marketing and e-commerce.

AutoZone said the company will replace McGee and Saltiel, and will be restructuring Pleas’s role.

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