OPERATIONS

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

BY Staff Writer

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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OPERATIONS

Hobby Lobby wins ruling in Supreme Court

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Retail chain Hobby Lobby was triumphant In a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court on Monday in which the court ruled that the federal government cannot force privately held corporations to provide forms of contraceptive coverage that violate the religious beliefs of their owners. The ruling means that private companies can opt out of the Affordable Health Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate.

The family-owned Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma City, operates approximately 600 stores nationwide. (Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., East Earl, Pennsylvania, manufacturers cabinets.) It is owned by the religiously conservative Green family, who challenged the contraception coverage mandate saying it forced them to either violate their faith or pay ruinous fines.

The court’s decision applies only to the contraceptive coverage mandated by the new law.

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OPERATIONS

Schnuck Markets names CIO

BY Marianne Wilson

St. Louis — Schnuck Markets announced that Robert Hardester has been appointed the company’s new CIO. Hardester succeeds Mark Zimmerman, who recently announced that he would be leaving the company.

Hardester most recently served as a VP corporate systems at Express Scripts, where he was responsible for application development. He previously held the position of CIO at Furniture Brands International and at General Electric.

The Schnucks executive team is interested in moving forward in ways that appeal to the individual customer rather than to the masses,” Hardester said. “That requires more analytics and more emphasis on consumer trends. Maintaining a secure IT environment is a top priority in today’s retail world, but Schnucks is a company that wants to do more with IT — leveraging segmentation, merchandising, mobile apps, social networking and using what is learned to help deliver positive and exciting in-store experiences.”

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