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O’Reilly Automotive announces leadership succession plan

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 09:00
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O’Reilly Automotive announced a leadership succession plan. Effective May 8, Greg Johnson will be promoted to CEO and co-president, and Jeff Shaw will be promoted to chief operating officer (COO) and co-president.

Greg Henslee, who currently serves as the company’s CEO and member of the board of directors, has been nominated as executive vice chairman of the board and will serve in that role subject to his election as a director at O’Reilly’s upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting in May. David O’Reilly will remain in his role as executive chairman of the board.

“After 33 years with Team O’Reilly and 13 years as CEO, Greg has communicated his desire to transition into a new role with the company,” said David O’Reilly. “We are very pleased to nominate Greg to serve as executive vice chairman. Greg has provided outstanding executive leadership for our company, and we are extremely fortunate to retain his continued guidance in operating the company. Greg has done an exceptional job planning for his succession by preparing Greg Johnson and Jeff Shaw to take over the day-to-day operations of the business.”

During Henslee’s leadership, O’Reilly achieved tremendous growth. He was promoted in 2005 to CEO when O’Reilly had 1,249 stores across 19 states and generated $1.7 billion of sales the previous year. By the end of 2017, O’Reilly had grown to 5,019 stores across 47 states and generated $9 billion in sales.

“It has been my great privilege to be part of our amazing growth and success during my time as CEO,” said Henslee. “The achievements were driven by our team members’ dedication to providing excellent customer service, executing our dual market strategy and living the O’Reilly culture instilled in the organization by the O’Reilly family. During my time as CEO, Greg and Jeff have both been critical members of the O’Reilly leadership team, with Greg leading our supply chain and Jeff leading store operations and sales. Their long tenure with the company and significant industry knowledge, combined with our long-tenured executive management team, position the company to build upon our record of 25 consecutive years of comparable store sales growth and record revenue and operating income.”

“It is an incredible honor to become CEO of O’Reilly, and I look forward to building on the company’s success,” said Johnson, who will become the third CEO in O’Reilly’s history. “When I officially joined team O’Reilly in 2001 as part of the company’s Mid-State acquisition, I knew I was joining a growing and dynamic company. Today, we operate a much larger business; however, the fundamentals that drive our business’ growth and profitability remain the same. I look forward to leading our talented team to continued success by perpetuating our culture, executing our dual market strategy and focusing on providing our customers with an exceptional level of service. Greg Henslee and David O’Reilly have both set great examples as leaders, and I look forward to continuing to leverage their expert guidance as executive board members.”

“Back when I started selling parts on the counter in 1988, you needed knowledgeable parts professionals with great parts availability to win customers’ business. The same holds true today. Our company has always adhered to a promote-from-within philosophy, and growing future leaders is the most important and rewarding part of my position,” said Shaw. “The markets where we operate are extremely competitive, and we have to continue to build great teams that out-work and out-hustle our competitors to continue to grow our market share. It is truly a privilege to lead our more than 72,000 store and distribution team members, as we work tirelessly to be the most knowledgeable and friendliest parts store with the best parts availability in every market we serve. I look forward to working alongside the talented O’Reilly team as we continue to work to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

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