Mr. Welch — considered an early pioneer of online tire retail from his founding of BlackCircles.com in the 1990s — said he will lead Tirebuyer's new strategy centered on "delivering unrivaled service levels to tire buyers and opening up opportunities that grow real value for its manufacturers and retail partners."
The new business will build a best-in-class approach to addressing the market shift for digital and service-focused business models that are evolving quickly across all sectors including vehicle maintenance, he said.
"In this next chapter, we will focus on creating value for all, establishing strategic partnerships across the industry alongside innovative customer solutions. I am very excited to lead the new TireBuyer and a very talented group of colleagues through this next phase of growth and opportunity," he said.
"ATD has been on a journey of transformation to bring digital, data and technology solutions on behalf of the industry that help our customers and vendors, not only compete, but plan for the future of service, the solutions consumers will seek, and the ease required to provide it," ATD President and CEO Stuart Schuette said.
"In our position as a connector of the automotive aftermarket, we have the unique ability to support the creation of value for the industry. Michael will be instrumental in creating a best-in-class e-commerce platform and the future of online tire buying."
Mr. Welch sold Blackcircles.com in 2015 to Group Michelin, and established Tirescanner.com in 2018.
Last year Tirescanner.com said its business grew 400% in the first quarter due to its initiative to recruit mobile tire installers to join the Tirescanner.com online-ordering system. This enabled the platform to offer contactless service during the COVID-19 pandemic.