CSK Auto Names Mondry as Its Chief Executive Officer

CSK Auto Corp., the operator of Checker and Murray's auto-parts stores, said it named Lawrence N. Mondry as president and chief executive officer to replace Maynard Jenkins. The shares hit a 52-week high.

Jenkins has been chief executive since January 1997. The company said in September he planned to retire after the appointment of his successor. His plans were announced the same day CSK Auto said it had fired its chief operating officer and chief administrative officer after an accounting probe.

CSK said in December it is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting irregularities. The Phoenix-based company found mistakes in inventory and how expenses were accounted for. It hasn't reported full financial results since the quarter that ended Oct. 30, 2005.

``It's certainly a positive in that the uncertainties that have been overshadowing the company are now behind it,'' said Cid Davis, an analyst with Kevin Dann & Partners in New York who has a ``hold'' rating on CSK Auto shares.

At least two analysts upgraded the company's shares after today's announcement, including Gary Balter of Credit Suisse, who raised his rating to ``outperform'' from ``neutral,'' and Daniel Scalzi of Matrix USA, who raised his rating to ``hold'' from ``sell.''

Mondry, 47, served as chief executive officer of Dallas- based electronics retailer CompUSA Inc. from November 2003 to May 2006. He will assume the president and chief executive positions at CSK Auto after Jenkins retires next month, the company said in a statement.

CFO to Leave

The company also said today that Chief Financial Officer James B. Riley will leave at the end of the month to take a position with Ormet Corp. (ORMT), an aluminum producer in his home state of Ohio. CSK will name a temporary replacement in the ``near future'' and will begin a search for a permanent replacement. Riley had been CFO since October 2005.

Shares of CSK Auto rose 70 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $18.92 as of 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest one-day gain since September. They had risen 50 percent in the 12 months before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at dolmetsch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joanne Norton at jnorton@bloomberg.net.

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