Regions Southwest Virginia

Advance Auto Parts has named new CEO

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Roanoke-based Advance Auto Parts has named Thomas “Tom” Greco, the head of Frito-Lay North America, as its next CEO.

The move takes effect on April 11.  Greco will succeed George Sherman, who has served as interim CEO since January.

Sherman will continue to be president of Advance Auto Parts, a position he has held since 2013.

“After a thorough search, we are pleased to have found an exceptional leader and operator with a proven track record of designing and executing winning strategies, driving profitable growth, and building an exceptional talent base,” Jack Brouillard, Advance’s executive chairman, said in a statement, "The board is confident that Advance will benefit from Tom’s commercial expertise and energetic, solutions-oriented approach to leading complex, customer-focused operations in a competitive environment.”

Greco, 57, will join Advance Auto Parts following a 30-year career at PepsiCo Inc. As CEO of Frito-Lay North America, he was responsible for Pepsi Co’s $14.8 billion snack and convenient foods business in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to becoming CEO, he will join the Advance board of directors.

“Advance Auto Parts is a clear industry leader with an unparalleled footprint and a growing number of customers who depend on our high-quality products and talented team members,” Greco said in a statement. “I am humbled and honored to be CEO and join the board of Advance.”

Greco’s appointment follows a management shakeup in which Darren Jackson, Advance’s CEO for eight years, retired in January.

Jackson stepped down after a tenure that saw Advance double in size. Nonetheless, activist investor Starboard Value LP said the company was not performing as well as its peers.
Starboard bought a 3.7 percent stake in Advance in September. Jeffrey Smith, Starboard’s CEO and chief investment officer, sent a letter to Jackson on Sept. 30 stating his belief that the “current market price of Advance does not fully reflect the value of its businesses and that opportunities exist within the control of management and the board to create substantial value for all shareholders.”

As a result of an agreement between Advance and Starboard, Smith gained a seat on the board, chairing its nominating and corporate governance committee and serving as a member of the compensation and finance committees. In addition, Starboard was permitted to name two independent directors to the board.

During this career with PepsiCo, Greco has held various leadership positions in sales and operations in the United States and Canada. He assumed his current job in 2011, after serving as executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Pepsi Beverages Co.

Before that, he was executive vice president of sales for PepsiCo’s North America Beverages organization and president of Global Sales for PepsiCo. Previously, he was president of Frito Lay Canada and senior vice president of sales for Frito-Lay North America.

Before joining PepsiCo, Greco worked at Procter & Gamble. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, and received an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario.

Greco serves on the board of directors for G&K Services, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Dallas Stars Advisory Board.

As of January, Advance operated 5,171 stores and 122 Worldpac branches and served about 1,300 independently owned Carquest branded stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. Advance has approximately 73,000 employees.

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