After a decade behind the wheel, Thomas Folliard is sliding out of the driver’s seat at CarMax.
The used car giant announced a succession plan Monday that will see Folliard, 51, retire by year’s end, at which time he would stay on with the board of directors as a non-executive chairman.
The CEO spot, which Folliard has filled since 2006, would go to Bill Nash, an executive vice president who was promoted to president effective Monday.
Fellow executive VP Cliff Wood was promoted as well to chief operating officer, a new title for the company.
The promotions are part of a multi-year management succession plan, according to a company release. The release includes comments from Folliard, who was not made available for an interview Monday.
“Bill Nash and I have worked together for nearly 20 years,” Folliard said of his successor. “He is a highly talented leader with experience in all aspects of our business and is the right choice to guide CarMax through the next phase of our growth and development.”
Of Wood, Folliard added: “We are fortunate to have another great leader in Cliff Wood. His breadth of experience and high level of operational expertise will continue to support CarMax’s competitive differentiation.”
The leadership changes come at a time of continued growth for CarMax, which reported net sales totaling $14.2 billion last fiscal year and net earnings totaling $597.4 million. Its latest quarterly earnings report showed net sales totaling $3.5 billion for the three months that ended Nov. 30, 2015. Net earnings for that quarter totaled $128.1 million.
CarMax ranked 232 in last year’s Fortune 500 list, improving from 240 in 2014 and surpassing Dominion Resources as Richmond’s second-highest earner according to annual revenue. Tobacco giant Altria Group ranked highest on the list among Richmond-based corporations.
According to the company, total revenues more than doubled and net income quadrupled during the 10 years Folliard has served as CEO. Its store base also doubled in that time, reaching 153 stores in 76 U.S. markets as of Nov. 30. The company has placed on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies To Work For’ list for 11 consecutive years.
Folliard joined CarMax in 1993 as a senior buyer and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming director of purchasing the following year, vice president of merchandising in 1996, senior vice president of store operations in 2000 and executive VP of store operations the year after that.
Nash, 46, and Wood, 49, both started with CarMax in the ‘90s after jobs at defunct electronics chain Circuit City. Nash signed on in 1997 as an auction manager and received several promotions that led to his latest position as executive VP of human resources and administrative services. Wood started as a buyer in 1993 and was rose through the ranks to executive VP of stores.
Reflecting its growth, CarMax is currently scouting downtown office space to supplement its 250,000-square-foot headquarters at West Creek in Goochland. The space would be the retailer’s first office presence inside city limits.
CarMax was founded in the ‘90s as an offshoot of Circuit City and later spun off in the early 2000s.