AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes to leave post

  • After almost 19 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Rhodes
  • Phil Daniele taking over
  • Rhodes will remain as Executive Chairman at AutoZone
  • Rhodes said 118 words

(exechange) — Memphis, Tennessee, June 26, 2023 — Bill Rhodes, chief executive of AutoZone, is set to leave his position. His upcoming departure is made public at an early stage. As announced by AutoZone Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, June 26, 2023, William C. (Bill) Rhodes leaves his post as chief executive officer at the retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, after almost 19 years in the role, effective January 2024.

It is the end of an era.

Bill Rhodes’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Philip B. (Phil) Daniele, currently Executive Vice President Merchandising, Marketing and Supply Chain at AutoZone Inc.

“We knew this day was coming”

AutoZone did not give an explicit reason for Bill Rhodes’s planned departure from the CEO post. Earl G. Graves, Jr., Lead Director, stated: “We knew this day was coming and have been working a very disciplined succession planning process for many years.”

Rhodes will remain as Executive Chairman at AutoZone

AutoZone stated: “AutoZone (NYSE: AZO) today announced Bill Rhodes’ decision to relinquish his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective January 2024. He will become Executive Chairman of the Board.”


AutoZone said: “On June 24, 2023, William C. Rhodes, III, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Customer Satisfaction, notified the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of AutoZone, Inc. (the “Company”) of his intention to relinquish his roles as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 2024.”

Share price increase since June 2018

The announcement follows an increase in AutoZone Inc.’s share price of 271% since June 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2005

Bill Rhodes became CEO of the Company in 2005.

Rhodes has served as AutoZone’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and a director since 2005 and was named Chairman in 2007.

Prior to his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, he served in various capacities of increasing responsibility within the Company since 1994.

Prior to 1994, Rhodes was a manager with Ernst & Young LLP.

118 words by Bill Rhodes

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of AutoZone Inc., Bill Rhodes received accolades, praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Bill Rhodes said 118 words.


Bill Rhodes stated: “Being an AutoZoner and having the opportunity to help lead this amazing team has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I’m incredibly excited that the Board has elected Phil as CEO-Elect. Phil and I have worked together very closely for over 25 years. Phil knows this company as well as anybody and has a passion for this business that is arguably un-paralleled. More importantly, Phil understands AutoZone’s success has been driven by a deep, passionate set of leaders who support great AutoZoners across the globe. He embodies what our Founder, J.R. Hyde, III’s father taught us when he said, ‘No individual builds a business…an individual builds the organization, and the organization builds the business.’”

40% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 314 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (June 26, 2022, to June 25, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.2, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or pursuit of other opportunities were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 40% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, two in five departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Bill Rhodes’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Bill Rhodes’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

exechange reached out to AutoZone and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 27.2023 ($).