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Les Schwab chairman Phil Wick starts his year-long farewell tour

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Phil Wick will retire as chairman of Les Schwab Tire Centers in December 2008.

For an interim period following his retirement, Wick will serve as an advisor on various projects related to the company's renowned customer service programs. He also will remain on the board of directors.

Wick spent his entire 40-year employment career with Les Schwab Tire Centers. Beginning in the tire-changing bays in 1965, Wick became a store manager at age 24.

Over the next three decades, he held several management positions and was selected by Les Schwab to be president in 1983. Wick became chairman in 2006.

"Since I joined Les Schwab, it has always been more than a job, it's a way of life," says Wick. "Our employees and customers make this company a great place to work, and I am proud of our accomplishments."

The timing was right to announce his plans for retirement, he says. "We have a tremendous team in place, led by Dick Borgman, CEO. The company is on target to meet growth projections in sales and new store openings."

"Phil has been a key leader in our company's history," says Borgman. "He consistently demonstrated a commitment to employee training and to customer service. This focus will continue to be the cornerstone of our success."

When the time comes, Borgman will assume responsibility as chairman of the board, and will retain his responsibilities as CEO.

There are 333 company-owned Les Schwab Tire Centers in the western United States. Associate dealers increase the total of dealers flying the Les Schwab banner to 400. The company had $1.6 billion in sales in 2006.

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