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Aaron's, Inc. (AAN)
Departure of Chief Executive Officer Call
November 7, 2011 9:00 AM EST
Gil Danielson – CFO
Garet Hayes – Media Relations
Ron Allen – Interim President and CEO
Kim Butler – COO
Jack Stimac – BB&T Capital Markets
Arvind Bhatia – Sterne Agee
TJ McConville – Raymond James
Good morning, and welcome to the Aaron’s Conference Call.
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Well, thank you for joining us today. Before we get started, I’m going to have Garet Hayes, who does Media Relations for the company to read our standard Safe Harbor statement that we do in front of every conference. Garet?
The company’s new release issued Friday, regarding the departure of Robin Loudermilk as Aaron’s President and Chief Executive Officer and the related Form 8-K are available on our website, aaronsinc.com in the Investor Relations section. And this webcast will be archived for replay there as well. With us today is Ron Allen, the company’s newly appointed Interim President and CEO; Kim Butler, COO; and Gil Danielson, CFO.
As it is our standard practice before we begin, I would like to read the company's Safe Harbor statement. Except for the historical information, the matters discussed today are forward-looking statements of the company. As such, they will involve a number of risk and uncertainties, including factors such as changes in general economic conditions, competition, pricing, customer demand, litigation, and other issues that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements, including the risk and uncertainties discussed under Risk Factors in the company's 2010 Annual Report on the Form 10-K, including without limitation the company's projected revenues, earnings, and store openings, and store acquisitions, and disposition activity for future periods.
I will now turn the call over to Gil for a few comments.
Well, thank you. As our press release Friday stated, Robin has resigned his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Since the press release, I’ve had many calls regarding his resignation and the first question asked almost every time is of genuine concern over Robin’s health condition. The company and Robin certainly appreciate this concern and support.
I assure you that none of his medical issues are in any way life threatening. Robin has struggled with anxiety and other similar issues for years. With the increasing demands and stress of being CEO of a large and growing public company, he feels he would now rather invest his future time and intention on his health and his personal and family’s real estate business. Real estate has always been a passion for Robin, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.
From a personal standpoint, I have enjoyed working side-by-side with Robin for all these years in our interactions with the investment community. For those of you who know Robin, his family is very close to him, and he is especially proud for the accomplishments and well-being of his three children. His resignation will allow him to spend his time on what is most important to him.
As many of you know, Aaron’s has an experienced and long tenured management team in place throughout the organization and we’ve worked together successfully for years. We certainly see Ron as a viable leader who will work with our team as the company moves forward. As for the next step in this process as noted in the press release, a committee of the Board will begin to conduct a search for Aaron’s next permanent CEO.
I would now like to introduce Ron Allen as Aaron’s new Interim CEO. Ron was in Delta Airlines for 34 years and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1987 to 1997. Ron has been a very active and engaged member of Aaron’s Board of Directors for 14 years and has served on the company’s Audit Committee over this time. He brings a wealth of business experience to the CEO position.
Ron, I’d like to turn the call over to you for a few comments.
Gil, thank you very much. I have enjoyed being a part of this team as a Board Member since 1997 and a long-term friend of Charlie Loudermilk’s. And, I’d say, I’m really honored to be in this role as an Interim Chief Executive Officer and President. I know that leadership quite well. I’m just excited about the future of this company, and to be a part of that now as its CEO is even more gratifying. So I look forward to the weeks and days ahead.
This is a very unique company. To have the Founder of this company still operating as Chairman of the Board and active is very unique. And, going forward, we want to build upon that legacy, we want to strengthen those basic foundations that have made this company so unique in this industry, and build on those going forward. So I look forward to being a part of that effort.
And, now, let me turn it over to a fellow Southwest DeKalb High School. You knew I will say that.
Yes, I appreciate it.
Ken Butler and I graduated from the same fine high school here in the South DeKalb County near Atlanta, Georgia. And, Ken, I’ll turn it over to you.