Arlington, Texas. -- The Board of Directors of First Cash Financial Services, Inc. announced a leadership succession plan which it anticipates implementing in the near future. The Board maintains an active oversight role over management and the operations of the company and feels that long-term succession planning is a necessary and desirable part of good corporate governance. The changes outlined in the plan will reflect the current roles and responsibilities of the company's senior management team that have evolved over the past decade. The exact timetable for implementing the plan will be at the discretion of the Board of Directors, based upon what it believes to be in the best interests of the Company.
Under the anticipated succession plan, Phillip (Rick) Powell, who has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1992, will relinquish his role as Chief Executive Officer, but will remain in his current role as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition, Powell will remain involved in the company's growth and strategic planning activities through a formalized, long-term consulting arrangement. Powell has been involved with First Cash since before it became a publicly-held company in 1991.
As part of the transition, Rick L. Wessel, a Director and President of the company, will assume the additional role of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, while remaining as the President. The title of Vice Chairman will recognize Wessel's key role on both the Board of Directors and as a member of the executive management team where he will continue to focus on matters of strategic planning, regulatory and legal affairs. Wessel joined the company in 1992 as its Chief Financial Officer after being employed by Price Waterhouse LLP for approximately nine years.
J. Alan Barron, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the company with responsibility for all domestic and international operations, will become the Chief Executive Officer. In this role, Barron will be the company's senior executive officer, responsible for directing the company's expansion strategy and for management of all facets of operations. Barron will also retain his current role and title as Chief Operating Officer.
Barron joined the company in 1994 as its Chief Operating Officer. He served in this capacity from January 1994 to May 1998 and from January 2003 to the present. For the period from May 1998 to January 2003, Barron served First Cash as President - Pawn Operations. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Barron worked for two years as the Chief Financial Officer for a privately-held pawnshop chain and prior to that for five years in the Fort Worth tax practice of Price Waterhouse LLP. Barron holds BBA and MBA degrees from Texas Tech University.
"This transition represents a logical progression in the growth of First Cash Financial Services,” says Powell. “After 13 years as CEO, I want to continue to make a significant contribution, but in a role that recognizes and rewards our senior staff who have developed successfully, executing many of the functions I have performed in the past. Keeping our very experienced senior management team together for the long-term is, in my opinion, a critical factor in both our past and future success. These changes, when implemented, will help us accomplish this objective."
In addition to these anticipated aspects of the succession plan, the Board announced that R. Douglas Orr will be promoted to Executive Vice President while remaining as the Company's Chief Financial Officer. John C. Powell will be promoted to Senior Vice President and will remain in the role of Director of Information Technology. Jan Hartz, currently Vice President of Human Resources, will be promoted to Vice President of Human Resources and Administration.