Advance Auto Parts Names Jim Wade President and Kevin Freeland Chief Operating Officer - aftermarketNews

Advance Auto Parts Names Jim Wade President and Kevin Freeland Chief Operating Officer

The auto parts retailer also announced the resignation of Elwyn Murray, executive vice president and customer development officer - DIY.

ROANOKE, Va. – Advance Auto Parts has announced the appointment of Jim Wade as president and Kevin Freeland as chief operating officer. Darren Jackson will retain the title of chief executive officer and Wade and Freeland will continue to report directly to him, along with Mike Norona, executive vice president and chief financial officer and Keith Oreson, senior vice president, Human Resources.

In his new role, Wade will be responsible for all of Advance’s customer-focused and sales-driving functions and will lead the execution of the company’s Commercial Acceleration and DIY Transformation strategies. These include Commercial Sales, Marketing and Advertising, Field and Store Operations, Autopart International and Real Estate.

Wade joined Advance in February 1994 and has more than 25 years of retail experience with Advance and other companies. Most recently, he served as Advance’s executive vice president, customer development officer – Commercial since February 2008. Under his leadership, the company’s Commercial business has achieved new levels of excellence, including the achievement of three consecutive quarters of double-digit comps through the third quarter of 2008.

In his 15 years with Advance, Wade has served in multiple senior leadership roles, including chief financial officer. He has played integral roles in a number of acquisitions, including Western Auto Supply Company/Parts America, Discount Auto Parts and Autopart International. Wade will continue to be based in Roanoke, Va.

Freeland will now be responsible for the day-to-day management of all of Advance’s operational functions, including Merchandising, Inventory Management, Supply Chain, Store Operational Support, e-Commerce and Information Technology as well as leading the company’s Availability Excellence and Superior Experience strategies.

Freeland joined Advance in February 2008 with more than 25 years of retail experience. Most recently, he served as Advance’s executive vice president, Merchandising, Supply Chain and Information Technology. Under Freeland’s leadership, Advance has made significant progress in availability by upgrading inventory selections in more than 1,000 stores; adding trusted brands that professional installers requested and launching the implementation of a new merchandising and e-commerce systems, which will be completed in 2009.

Before joining Advance, Freeland was the president and founder of Optimal Advantage, a retail consulting firm, serving customers such as Dell and PetSmart. He spent the eight years prior with Best Buy Co., where he served in roles including senior vice president of Inventory and president of the Musicland division. Freeland also spent eight years at Payless Shoe Source in a variety of merchandising positions, including vice president of Merchandise Distribution. Freeland will continue to be based in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Also related to the company’s reorganization, Elwyn Murray, executive vice president and customer development officer – DIY has announced his resignation and will leave the company at the end of February to pursue other opportunities.

“Elwyn made many meaningful contributions to the transformation of our company,” said Jackson. “He has played a significant role in leading key areas, revitalizing our values and shaping the course for our strategic direction.”

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