SPENCER, Iowa — Eric M. Johnson has been promoted to managing partner and president of Merrill Co. L.L.P. and Arnold Motor Supply L.L. P., a Midwest-based automotive parts chain.
He replaces former managing partner Dennis Spooner, who retired at year-end 2020.
"We're a great company," Mr. Johnson said, "and we can keep getting better."
Mr. Johnson joined Merrill Co. 12 years ago to lead its information technology department. In 2018, when Mr. Johnson was the vice president of information systems, the senior partners unanimously voted to name him as the next managing partner/president.
"While the move from IT to the managing partner may seem an unusual step, Eric has a myriad of training and skills that have brought him to this position, not the least of which is the fact that he literally wrote the book on Arnold Motor Supply," the company said.
Mr. Johnson's career path has included stints in finance, marketing, public relations and IT. In 2013, he wrote a book about the company called, "You Build a Business with People."
"Eric notes that he transitioned to different areas primarily because he questioned processes and was continually commenting, 'There has to be a better way,'" the company said.
"The conviction that there has to be a better way has served Eric well as he led the company through a business system transition and as he looks toward the future of the company and the aftermarket industry."
Mr. Johnson earned the Automotive Aftermarket Professional designation from Northwood University. He has a bachelor's degree in economics and finance and a master's degree in information technology. He has served as chair of the IT committee for the Automotive Aftermarket Alliance (Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper).