Thursday, Jun. 15, 2006, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
RICHMOND, Va. -- CarMax announced that Thomas Folliard, current executive vice president of store operations, has been elected president, chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. Folliard succeeds Austin Ligon, who is retiring.
Executives said Folliard, 41, was a key part of the team that developed and launched CarMax in 1993. He has served as executive vice president of store operations since 2001, overseeing sales, service, store operations, inventory management and merchandising. Before that position, he served as senior vice president of store operations in 2000 to 2001. He also held the position of vice president of merchandising from 1996 to 2000.
"Tom is a talented executive who helped create this company," Ligon said today. "He knows every facet of our business and is highly respected by our associates and the industry. One of the most important advantages of CarMax is the unique culture we've built, and Tom's experience as one of the developers of this culture is an enormous advantage. I was privileged to lead the company in its initial growth stage, and I am confident that Tom will continue its strong growth."
Folliard added, "In my 13 years here, I have had the unparalleled opportunity to be deeply involved in the birth of a new retailing concept that has successfully demonstrated its appeal to millions of customers throughout the country. I have worked with the team and learned from the finest team members one could ask for, and I look forward to leading them and this company as we continue to work to produce outstanding results for our customers, associates and shareholders."
Richard Sharp, CarMax chairman and former CEO of Circuit City, chimed in saying, "Austin led CarMax, first as president and later as CEO, through a difficult time in the company history, when many questioned the viability of the concept. He never wavered in his commitment and has guided the company to today's industry-leading position. Speaking for the entire board, we want to express our gratitude for Austin's innumerable contributions to the company.
"Last year, CarMax sold approximately 290,000 used vehicles, 21,000 new vehicles and nearly 180,000 wholesale vehicles, generating more than $6 billion in revenue," he continued. "That's an extraordinary achievement, of which, Austin and the company can be justly proud, and an enviable legacy that we are confident Tom will build upon."
Commenting on the search for a new CEO, William Tiefel, chairman of the search committee and recently elected lead director of the board, explained, "The board search committee examined a wide range of candidates, including current CEOs and other talented senior corporate executives from a diverse group of industries, as well as internal candidates. We were looking for a corporate leader who would bring the operational leadership, talent development, emphasis on performance and deep knowledge of business process needed to take CarMax to its next plateau.
"The board of directors voted unanimously in support of the search committee's recommendation of Tom as the best person to achieve the company's goals of doubling sales and earnings within the next five years," Tiefel concluded.