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Rent-A-Center, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ/NGS: RCII) announced today that Mark E. Speese, co-founder of the Company, has decided to retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 31, 2014, after twenty-seven years of service.
The Company also announced that the Board of Directors (the “Board”) has selected Robert D. Davis, the Company’s current Chief Financial Officer, to become Chief Executive Officer on February 1, 2014. Mr. Davis also has been elected to the Company’s Board, effective immediately.
Mr. Speese will continue in his role as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, and J. V. Lentell, the Lead Director of the Board, will relinquish that role on January 31, 2014, while remaining as a director. Mitchell E. Fadel, the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, while maintaining that position, has relinquished his Board seat, effective immediately, thereby maintaining the Board’s number of non-independent directors at its present level of two.
Mr. Speese commented, “This transition is a major strategic step in our ongoing management succession process that the Board has been implementing for the past few years. I have worked very closely with Robert for the past twenty years and have absolute confidence in his ability to lead the Company. He has been instrumental in our success and understands all aspects of our business. As the Company continues to move into an exciting new phase of its development, the timing is right for me to pass the baton, and I am confident Robert Davis is the ideal person for the job.”
Mr. Davis added, “I am excited to be given this opportunity and would like to thank the Board and Mark for their confidence in me. Mark has been an exceptional leader for the Company, and I am honored to succeed him as CEO. I am also particularly pleased that Mark will continue to serve as Chairman and that we will continue to benefit from his involvement with the Company. It will be a great help towards ensuring a successful transition.”