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In the Fast Lane for CEO of the Year

Liang Feng

Liang Feng: We are happy to nominate Gregory Henslee, the CEO of O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), as one of the three finalists for Morningstar's CEO of the Year award. We believe that Henslee and his team at O'Reilly deserve a great amount of recognition for strengthening O'Reilly's economic moat during his tenure. Since Henslee took over in 2005, the company has more than tripled its sales and quintupled its earnings per share.

Henslee spearheaded the transformational acquisition of CSK in 2008, which nearly doubled the company's store base. The firm has systemically improved CSK's operating results since that period.

We believe O'Reilly's management was also ahead of their time in that they focused on serving both the do-it-yourself and commercial markets when most competitors were just focused on one.

Now, many competitors have imitated elements of O'Reilly's strategy. However, we think the company remains very well positioned for long-term market share gains, as the firm's investments in infrastructure and strong dual-market expertise should continue to lead to outperformance.