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AutoZone shifts to new exec gear


The nation’s leading automotive specialty retailer realigned responsibilities among a trio of senior executives.

The operator of roughly 5,600 stores promoted Mark Finestone, senior VP of merchandising and store development to the role of executive VP of merchandising, supply chain and marketing. With Finestone given oversight of supply chain, Bill Graves, senior VP of supply chain and international was promoted to the role of executive VP of Mexico, Brazil, IMC, and store development. Additionally, Tom Newbern, senior VP of store operations and loss prevention was promoted to the role of executive VP of store operations, commercial and loss prevention.

"With these promotions, we continue to strengthen our senior leadership team with seasoned and accomplished AutoZoners," said Bill Rhodes, chairman, president and CEO. "Mark, Bill, and Tom have proven leadership abilities that have been invaluable to our past successes and their experiences will serve this company at a very high level for many years to come.”

In addition, the company also revealed its intention to remain an aggressive purchaser of its owns shares. The AutoZone board authorized the repurchase of an additional $750 million of the company’s stock, building upon a program initiated in 1998 that has seen the company spend $16.4 billion buying back its own shares.

“AutoZone's continued strong financial performance allows us to repurchase our stock while maintaining our investment grade credit ratings," said Bill Giles, executive VP and CFO. “We remain committed to utilizing share repurchases within the bounds of a disciplined capital structure to enhance stockholder returns while maintaining adequate liquidity to execute our plans.”

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