PHILADELPHIA (April 23, 2008) — Following the resignation of CEO Jeff Rachor, Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack has named Mike Odell as its interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.
The Philadelphia-based tire and automotive aftermarket chain said the move came after Mr. Rachor resigned to become a principal in an automotive dealership venture. Pep Boys also named former Toys “R” Us Inc. executive Ray Arthur, 49, as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective April 28. He succeeds Harry Yanowitz, who announced his planned departure in January to pursue other business interests.
Mr. Odell, 45, joined Pep Boys last September as executive vice president and COO after 13 years with Sears Holdings Corp., where he last served as executive vice president and general manager of Sears Retail & Specialty Stores, a $26 billion business with 1,900 locations. He initially joined Sears' finance department in 1994, working there until moving to its operations team four years later. During his tenure, Mr. Odell served in various positions including vice president of stores, of finance, and of operations for the Sears Automotive Group.
Bill Leonard, Pep Boys board chairman, said the board is “highly confident in Mike's ability to step seamlessly into the role of interim CEO,” noting Mr. Odell “was instrumental in helping to develop the company's long-term strategic plan and the board is pleased with the progress the company has made in executing its initial steps.
“Mike's leadership in driving Pep Boys' strategic initiatives and our ongoing return to operational excellence makes him the obvious choice for this position. He is a serious candidate for the permanent chief executive position and the company has no plans to conduct a search at this time.”
On behalf of the board, Mr. Leonard also thanked Mr. Rachor for his service and assistance during the executive transition.
Mr. Odell said he is “excited by the opportunity to lead Pep Boys' return to prominence. Along with 19,000 dedicated fellow associates, we are committed to achieving our goals of being the automotive aftermarket solutions provider of choice for the value-oriented consumer and growing revenue and profitability in each of our lines of business.”
Mr. Arthur, a certified public accountant, joins Pep Boys after serving from 2004 to 2006 as executive vice president and CFO of Toys “R” Us, where he oversaw its strategic review and restructuring of company-wide operations, as well as the company's leveraged buyout. During his tenure at the toy company, he also served as president and CFO of toyrus.com from 2000 to 2003, and as corporate controller of Toys “R” Us from 1999 to 2000.
Prior to that, he worked in a variety of roles for General Signal, American Home Products, American Cyanamid and a number of accounting firms.
Pep Boys operates more than 560 stores and approximately 6,000 service bays in 35 states and Puerto Rico.