Categories: Taking the Pulse Date: Nov 13, 2013 Title: Rent-A-Center CEO Mark Speese to retireRent-A-Center announced today that Mark E. Speese, co-founder of the Company, has decided to retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 31, 2014, after twenty-seven years of service.
Rent-A-Center announced today that Mark E. Speese, co-founder of the Company, has decided to retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 31, 2014, after twenty-seven years of service.
The Company also announced that the Board of Directors has selected Robert D. Davis, the Company's current Chief Financial Officer, to become Chief Executive Officer on February 1, 2014. Mr. Davis also has been elected to the Company's Board, effective immediately.
"This transition is a major strategic step in our ongoing management succession process that the Board has been implementing for the past few years," Mr. Speese said. "I have worked very closely with Robert for the past twenty years and have absolute confidence in his ability to lead the Company.He has been instrumental in our success and understands all aspects of our business. As the Company continues to move into an exciting new phase of its development, the timing is right for me to pass the baton, and I am confident Robert Davis is the ideal person for the job."
Mr. Speese will continue in his role as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors, and J. V. Lentell, the Lead Director of the Board, will relinquish that role on January 31, 2014, while remaining as a director. Mitchell E. Fadel, the Company's President and Chief Operating Officer, while maintaining that position, has relinquished his Board seat, effective immediately, thereby maintaining the Board's number of non-independent directors at its present level of two.
"I am excited to be given this opportunity and would like to thank the Board and Mark for their confidence in me," Mr. Davis added. "Mark has been an exceptional leader for the Company, and I am honored to succeed him as CEO. I am also particularly pleased that Mark will continue to serve as Chairman and that we will continue to benefit from his involvement with the Company. It will be a great help towards ensuring a successful transition."
Mr. Davis has served as the Company's Executive Vice President Finance since February 2008 and has served as the Company's Chief Financial Officer since March 1999.
The Lead Director of the Board, Mr. Lentell, stated, "The Board looks forward with confidence to the Company's future under the leadership and vision of Robert Davis. His selection from within our ranks is a testament to the management leadership of Mark Speese in the development of executive talent, and the ongoing multi-year effort of both management and the Board to augment the Company's management strength through both internal development and external additions."
Mr. Lentell further stated, "Mark Speese's dedication and contributions to the Company from its inception have been keys to our success. We are fully supportive and totally prepared for this decision on his part, and are pleased with Mark's continuing involvement with the Board."
Mr. Speese was awarded APRO's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 for his contributions to the rent to own industry.
The Company also announced that Michael S. Wilding, the Company's current Senior Vice President -- Accounting and Global Controller, will serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer, effective February 1, 2014.