RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.-The Tire King has stepped down from his throne, and his kingdom is searching for a successor. After a 24-year reign as the self-proclaimed ``king of tires,'' Tire Kingdom Inc. President Chuck Curcio is retiring at age 48.
Thomas W. Garvey, who previously served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the Riviera Beach-based company, has assumed Mr. Curcio's position as president and CEO until the company and an executive search firm can find a new CEO, Tire Kingdom announced Aug. 7.
The company also announced Wesley W. Lang Jr., a member of Tire Kingdom's board of directors, has become chairman of the board. Mr. Lang is managing partner of Weiss, Peck & Greer Private Equity Partners L.P., which owns an interest in the tire retailer.
Mr. Curcio will continue to work with Tire Kingdom's board of directors as a consultant and will remain ``a significant shareholder,'' the company said.
``After 24 years in the tire business, I have been blessed in experiencing the American dream, and now I plan to take the time to enjoy it,'' Mr. Curcio said in a press release. He was unavailable for comment before this issue went to press Aug. 15.
Mr. Curcio started selling tires at a farmer's market in West Palm Beach in 1972. Since then, the dealership has grown to 150 locations with estimated retail sales of $202 million.
In 1988, Mr. Curcio sold Tire Kingdom to Michelin North America to help the dealership pull out of debt, as well as provide capital for expansion. In 1993, he and an investor group, led by Weiss, Peck & Greer and the investment firm Goldman, Sachs & Co., bought the stock back from Michelin. This year, the company made its first move outside Florida, opening an outlet in Charlotte, N.C.
Mr. Curcio helped market his Tire Kingdom dealership to Florida consumers with television and radio commercials in which he appeared as ``the Tire King.'' The company even has begun building new outlets with a castle motif.