PORTLAND, Ore.Tire Factory Inc. has parted ways with John Kreidel, its CEO of five years, over differences in strategy for transitioning the cooperative's 200 members to the Point S-branded network.
The only difference between the board and John was a style difference on how to accomplish those goals, Walter Lybeck, Tire Factory's CFO and now interim CEO, told Tire Business.
John has accomplished a lot in the last five years and has set us up well. But he felt fairly strongly we needed to go in a certain direction to achieve those, and they (the board) felt a slightly different approach, so they worked on it for a long time and finally they decided that there was a difference and decided to separate.
John is leaving on an amicable note and he's still working with me and is available to me for the next 90 days. So he has been a great mentor for me.
Mr. Kreidel agreed that the Aug. 13 separation was amicable.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve both the members and the board, he told Tire Business. I think Tire Factory is a fine organization and I will miss working with them terribly.
For the time being, he said he will be reflecting over the next several months on options for his career and has already had several people reach out to him about job opportunities.
On a personal note, Mr. Kreidel said he might consider using his newly found free time to work on building an airplanesomething as a private pilot he has always had a desire to do.
Meanwhile, Tire Factory is pursuing transitioning its member dealerships to the Point S brand. So far four stores have been branded as Point S locations: two outletsin Pocotello, Idaho, and Sumner, Wash.are rebranded stores, one was a newly built store in Rigby, Idaho, and a fourth was a new member to the network.
Mr. Lybeck said the network's goal is to convert all of its dealerships by December 2017.
My plans are to really cement the membership to the change to Point S. We are going to reassess our plan again, he said, noting that the board will be holding its annual strategic planning meeting in September.
Mr. Lybeck acknowledged that there are a handful of members that are frustrated with the change to Point S. One member in Oklahoma has left the network as a result of the decision to change to Point S, he said.
In a change like this there is always going to be some detractors. Something as emotional as a name change is a big deal and we take it really seriously.
Our ultimate vision is that we have all our members on Point S, but we have to talk to our dealers and make sure we're meeting their needs as well and helping them through the transition process, too.
Dealers basically have to change their signage, switching from Tire Factory to Point S but keeping their individual store names. They also need to switch from the red and blue Tire Factory stripes to the blue and green color scheme of Point S.
We don't think it will be a huge cost for members to do the transition, for the most part, Mr. Lybeck said, noting that Tire Factory will assist in rebranding costs.
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