PRINEVILLE, Ore.—Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc. Chairman Phil Wick will retire in December 2008 after a 40-year career with one of the nation's largest, best-known independent tire dealerships.
Dick Borgman will assume responsibility as board chairman along with his role as CEO. During the interim period prior to Mr. Wick's retirement, the company said he will serve as an adviser on various projects related to the Prineville-based dealership's customer service programs.
Beginning in Schwab's tire-changing bays in 1965, Mr. Wick became a store manager at age 24. Over the next three decades he held several management positions before being selected in 1983 by dealership founder Les Schwab to be president. Mr. Wick was named chairman in 2006.
Noting his commitment to the company, Mr. Wick said in a company statement that since joining Les Schwab Tire “it has always been more than a job, it's a way of life. Our employees and customers make this company a great place to work and I am proud of our accomplishments.”
The dealership said his career “exemplifies the company's promote-from-within policy.”
Mr. Wick said the timing was right for a transition in his role at Les Schwab. “We have a tremendous team in place, led by Dick Borgman, CEO. The company is on target to meet growth projections in sales and new store openings.”
In turn, Mr. Borgman called Mr. Wick “a key leader in our company's history. He consistently demonstrated a commitment to employee training and to customer service. This focus will continue to be the cornerstone of our success.”
Mr. Wick will remain a member of the Les Schwab board of directors.
His impending retirement comes in a year marked with change. Mr. Schwab died May 18 in Prineville at the age of 89. After starting his dealership in 1952, Mr. Schwab built it into one of Oregon's best-known businesses. The company operates more than 410 stores throughout the West and employs 7,700.
At the time of Mr. Schwab's death, Mr. Wick said the recent promotion of Mr. Borgman to CEO left the company well-positioned for future growth and expansion.