Aug 24, 2023 - Business

Advance Auto looks for turnaround after leadership shakeup

An Advance Auto Parts store. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Advance Auto, one of the largest public companies in the Triangle, is making big changes in an effort to turn itself around.

Driving the news: The auto parts retailer said Wednesday that Shane O'Kelly, an executive at Home Depot, will replace Tom Greco as CEO on Sept. 11. Greco announced his retirement earlier this year.

  • At the same time, the company revealed the departure of CFO Jeffrey Shepherd.

Why it matters: Advance Auto was one of two of Raleigh's S&P 500 companies until this week, when its stock price dropped far enough to take it off the list. Shares of the company have fallen more than 65% over the past year.

State of play: Advance Auto's stock price has dropped after the company's profits came in lower than it forecasted.

  • Supply shortages and wage inflation have been particularly challenging, with the company struggling to keep parts in stock or raise prices, its executives said during an earnings call Wednesday.
  • Analysts, though, have noted many of its competitors, like AutoZone and O'Reilly, have not had the same issues.
  • "In our view, (Advance's) issues are, likely, largely its own," Brian Nagel, an analyst for Oppenheimer, wrote earlier this year.
Data: Yahoo! Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Yahoo! Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

What they're saying: The company's interim board chairman, Gene Lee, said Wednesday morning that Advance is undergoing a review of its operations and that it hopes to return to profitable growth in a year's time.

The big picture: Raleigh's economic developers have desperately tried to attract more large public companies to Raleigh — which has for years been known more as a startup hub and an attractive place to put satellite offices.

  • Winning a corporate headquarters can often bring higher salaries and more community involvement.

Flashback: Advance received state incentives in 2018 to officially move its headquarters to Raleigh from Virginia — though its leadership had already been in place in Raleigh


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