Aaron's CEO Ronald Allen steps down

Aaron's Inc. (NYSE:AAN) is in the market for a new CEO. The company announced Aug. 6 that CEO Ronald Allen, 72, will retire both as company head and as a member of the board of directors. The departure will become effective August 31.

Allen had been serving on the board since 1997 and acted as CEO since Feb. 2012.

"It has been a privilege to lead the finest associates in the industry, whose commitment, integrity and ingenuity never cease to impress me," Allen said. "With the plans we have in place to deliver improved results in our core business and the transformational acquisition of the fast-growing virtual RTO Progressive business, I believe that we have a strong platform for long-term growth, and I am confident in the company's future."

The rent-to-own retailer of furniture, electronics and appliances has had difficulty in recent quarters, closing 44 stores and reports financial struggles for 2014.

The company earned $46.8 million in the first half of 2014, down $30.1 million from last year's $76.9 million in the first half. However, Aaron's revenues in the second quarter are up 22.1 percent from last year's second quarter, which has been attributed to the acquisition of Progressive Finance, a company that offers virtual rent-to-own transactions beyond traditional storefronts.  

In April, Aaron's received a buyout offer from Vintage Capital Management following the Progressive acquisition. Vintage initiated a proposal to purchase Aaron's outstanding shares for roughly $2.3 billion, an offer that the company ultimately rejected. Story

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