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John Barlow Leaves Safelite; Wilson Named New CEO
Safelite Glass Corp. has announced that chief executive John Barlow is leaving the company and that Dan Wilson is taking over.
“I’m retiring,” said Barlow in an exclusive interview with AGRR magazine on October 7. “I turned 60 this year and it’s time. I want to spend more time with my wife and my daughters. Between 60 and 70 you still have your health, and we want to travel and enjoy it.”
When asked when the change would take effect, Barlow said, “Immediately. Dan Wilson is taking my place. He is taking over as of now. He took over for me when I left Western Auto, too. The board [of directors] did ask that I stay on for a few months in transition, but they will really only need me for a week or two … you know how that goes.”
Barlow had recruited Wilson to Safelite from AutoZone. They had both worked at Western Auto Parts-America together as well, where Wilson most recently served as president. He has also held leadership positions with Wal-Mart, where he was responsible for hardlines merchandising for the Hyper-Super Market Division.
“Absolutely not,” said Barlow, when asked about the rumors that he was being forced out due to low margins and cost over-runs on Safelite’s computerization and IT programs. “All the spending in IT was approved by the board … now if earnings slow down, you have to adjust. If our earnings hadn’t slowed, I think it would have been fine, but it’s simply not true that that was the case.”
Barlow joined Safelite in 1991 and has served as chief executive officer since 1997.
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