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10 Things You Didn't Know About O'Reilly Automotive CEO Greg Johnson

O'Reilly Automotive CEO Greg Johnson

If you've recently bought car parts at an O'Reilly Automotive retail store, then you're aware that it's a major chain that either stocks or can order automotive parts, accessories and other related items for practically any type of automobile as they are linked to a massive database. They're one of the most popular automotive supply retailers in the United States. Gregory D. Johnson is the man who leads the company in its successful business ventures as CEO. We don't always stop to think about the leaders who keep these chains running successfully and in business during rough economic times. Gregory is a successful executive in the automotive industry and if you're not familiar with him, here are 10 things that you probably didn't know about him.

1. Gregory D. Johnson started his career as a part time stocker

Mr. Johnson's career in the automotive industry didn't start with a leadership position. His first job with O'Reilly began in 1982 in the Mid-State Nashville DC division stocking shelves just part time. Who could have imagined that a part time job would result in a long and successful career that would lead to the top levels of executive management?

2. Gregory worked his way up to the top

Mr. Johnson started out at one of the lowest positions on the pay scale and it wasn't even full time, but he had a passion for the industry and worked his way up into management in the Retail Systems department, then moving to a directorship of the information Systems. He was then promoted to the Warehouse management System Development Manager of O'Reilly Enterprises, then as Distribution Director, Vice President of Distribution and Sr. VP of Distribution Operations. In 2018 he was named the CEO and Co-President of the company after spending a 32 year career with the company.

3. He was educated in Tennessee

Greg attended the College of business Administration at the Tennessee Technological university. He studied in the field of Business Administration from 1983 through 1988. He earned his BS degree as well as his MIS degrees during that time, according to his business profile on linkedin.

4. O'Reilly's awards him stock as a part of his annual compensation

As a part of Gregory Johnson's compensation package at O'Reilly Automotive Inc, he is awarded stocks annually. For the 2018 fiscal year he received $2,849,986 worth of stock int he company, which counted towards his massive compensation package, according to annual proxy statements.

5. His annual salary is in the millions

According to, Gregory D. Johnson earns an annual salary of $1,1160,373. This is just for starters though. He receives a bonus that is just shy of three million in stock options along with other financial compensation. his total annual compensation for 2018 was $4,866,262.

6. He's only the third CEO for the business

In the entire history of the O'Reilly's Automotive, Inc. company, there has only been three individuals serving in the position of CEO. Gregory Johnson is one of the few trusted members of the team to serve at the helm. He shared in an interview that he feels very honored to be placed in the position and he looks forward to working with the rest of the executive team in planning, strategizing and moving the company with over 72,000 store and distribution locations forward into the future.

7. He's an inspiration for young people with dreams

Gregory Johnson has set an amazing example of what a person can accomplish in their lives if they have the passion and the will to succeed. He has come a long way in his career and personal life since he first joined the O'Reilly Automotive company. He doesn't have a long curriculum vitae that outlines his leadership of several major corporations as some CEO's do, but rather, a steady and consistent career that shows how he started at the bottom and worked his way up to the top. Johnson earned the position that he now occupies through hard work, completing his education and by fervently applying his knowledge, skills and work ethic to each position he worked in. He proved his value to the company and set an example that others can emulate.

8. He goes by Greg

We looked through Greg's profile on the Linked In website to learn more about him. What we discovered is that he has several endorsements by professionals in the automotive industry as well as others who have written testimonials that tell the world he's a knowledgeable professional in his field, and a man that they enjoy working with. By those who know him, he's Greg, versus Gregory, showing that he's a personable fellow who works well with others.

9. He's a private and modest person

We learned something else about Greg Johnson that we think is profound. Unlike many other rich and successful CEOs, he doesn't seek out the spotlight. He does his job and interacts in professional circles as appropriate but you won't find any gossip articles that talk about outlandish acts or lavish spending on luxury items. He doesn't seek out attention and doesn't take the center stage. You won't find much about his personal life, because in a classy manner, he keeps it private.

10. Greg Johnson has helped to establish a good company culture

Although you can't please everyone all the time, it seems that Greg's leadership has had a positive impact on O'Reilly's in a trickle down effect. We recently read through Glassdoor's reviews of the company and we saw the usual complaints made by disgruntled workers, but there were a few great reviews that let us know that the people who work for the company along with the company culture are amazing in the eyes of some workers and the point was made that the leaders of O'Reilly's "genuinely care about our team members."  This is one of the highest compliments a CEO can get.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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