Former Circuit City CEO, Car Max founder Richard Sharp dies at 67

New York -- Richard Sharp, the former CEO of Circuit City and driving force behind CarMax, has died due to complications from a rare type of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 67.

“Rick Sharp was a giant in the consumer electronics industry,” the Consumer Electronics Association said in a statement. “He helped build Circuit City from a regional chain into one of the nation’s leading electronics retailers. He also was an innovative businessman, leading the creation of the breakthrough consumer-friendly used car retailing concept, CarMax. Sharp was an innovative and bright mind who exemplified the creativity, dedication and passion that are hallmarks of our industry’s great leaders,”
 
Sharp joined Circuit City in 1982 and served as CEO of the company from 1986 to 2000. Under his leadership, Circuit City enjoyed meteoric growth with sales that increased from $175 million in 1986 to more than $10 billion by 2000. Eight years after he had left the company, Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and the following year was liquidated.

During his tenure at Circuit City, Sharp was involved in the creation of CarMax, which promised shoppers a simple, no-haggling approach to car buying. Sharp joined CarMax in 2002 when it was spun off as a separate company from Circuit City and served as chairman of the company until 2007. CarMax has since grown to become the nation’s largest seller of used vehicles with 135 stores with annual sales of more than $12.5 billion.

Sharp was also a founding investor in the Crocs footwear company where he served as chairman from 2005 until 2011.

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