Genuine Parts names Paul Donahue as its president

By Maria Saporta

Genuine Parts is putting its succession plan in place.

As expected, Genuine Parts announced Monday that its board had elected Paul Donahue to the position of president of the automotive parts, industrial products and business services company. In 2010, the company had revenues of $11.2 billion.

Tom Gallagher will continue to serve as Genuine Parts’ chairman and CEO. For the record, Donahue, 55, will be only the seventh president of the 84-year-old company. Previously Donahue had been serving as executive vice president of the Genuine Parts Co. and as president of the U.S. Automotive Parts Group.

The election of Donahue as president puts him in line to succeed Gallagher when he retires.

According to a press release from Genuine Parts, Gallagher was quoted as saying:

“This is a significant move for Paul, as well as for GPC, and one we are extremely pleased to announce. His proven leadership, experience and success make him an excellent choice as the Company’s next President.

“Paul came to us from Newell Rubbermaid, where he was President of its Sanford North America division. After joining S.P. Richards Company, our Office Products Group, as Executive Vice President – Sales and Marketing in 2003, Paul was quickly promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of S. P. Richards Company, a position he held until his election to executive vice president of Genuine Parts Company in 2007.

“Since 2007, Paul has provided strong leadership to several of our automotive business units, including: Rayloc, our remanufacturing operation; Balkamp, our repackaging group; Auto Todo, our Mexican aftermarket business; and Altrom, our import parts distribution operation. He also led our global sourcing initiative and in July 2009 was elected President of the U.S. Automotive Parts Group. The Automotive Group’s strong performance under Paul’s direction exemplifies his effective leadership style.”

Donahue will continue to serve as President of the U.S. Automotive Parts Group and will maintain his day to day responsibilities for the Group. In addition, as GPC’s President, he will be more involved in the Company’s corporate-wide operations and initiatives.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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