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Mark Speese to retire as Rent-A-Center CEO

Clint Engel, Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, November 13, 2013

PLANO, Texas — Rent-A-Center co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark E. Speese will retire from the CEO post Jan. 31, after 27 years with the rent-to-own giant.

The company's board selected Robert Davis, current chief financial officer, to become the next CEO. Davis also has been elected to the board.

Speese will continue in his role as chairman, the Plano, Texas-based company said. J. V. Lentell, the lead director, will relinquish that role on Jan. 31, but remain a director, and RAC President and Chief Operating Officer Mitch Fadel has given up his board seat, "thereby maintaining the board's number of non-independent directors at its present level of two," RAC said in a release.

"This transition is a major strategic step in our ongoing management succession process that the board has been implementing for the past few years," Speese said.
Speese added that he has worked with Davis for 20 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," Speese said. "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."

In the release, Davis said Speese "has been an exceptional leader ... and I am honored to succeed him as CEO." He added that RAC will continue to benefit from his involvement with the company as chairman.

Davis has been executive vice president-finance for RAC since February 2008 and chief financial officer since March 1999.

Michael Wilding, senior vice president-accounting and global controller, will serve as interim chief financial officer, effective Feb. 1.

Rent-A-Center owns and operates approximately 3,140 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and about 1,255 RAC Acceptance kiosk locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Rent-A-Center also has 215 franchised rent-to-own stores operating under the Rent-A-Center and ColorTyme names

 

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