2023 Women at the Wheel: Elle Lawhead

2023 Honoree

Elle Lawhead

Director, Merchandising, Starting & Charging, Major Repair

Believe it or not, it was kickball that led Elle Lawhead to her career in the aftermarket. When a friend from college invited her to play on the AutoZone kickball team as a way to get to know the company, Lawhead initially resisted. With a job in fashion merchandising and a 60% discount on clothing, she wasn’t interested. But, it only took a few kickball games for the AutoZone culture to win her over.

“Immediately after meeting the people and learning about the culture, I was like, okay, I kind of like these people and I like what they’re talking about. I think I could do this,” she says.

She started as an assistant category manager, covering everything from gloves to lighting, batteries and battery accessories to brake systems. About a year in, she was promoted to a commercial category manager and today she’s director, merchandising starting and charging, Major Repair.

When it comes down to it, she says, whether its fashion or automotive filtration, the end goal is the same: “At the end of the day, it’s about consumer buying behavior and what people need. Our needs might be different, but ultimately everyone just wants to be seen and heard and valued as a consumer.”