Scott Hymas, CEO of the Utah-based RC Willey furniture, appliance and CE chain, will temporarily step down from his post of 16 years, effective June 1.
That’s when Hymas and his wife Alison will begin a three-year leave of absence to assume new roles as missionary presidents for the Mormon Church in Sacramento, Calif., where Willey will open a second store this fall.
Hymas plans to return to his CEO post at the conclusion of his furlough.
In his absence, the 14-store chain will continue to be led by its executive committee, which includes president Jeff Child and chief financial officer Curtis Child.
Hymas told TWICE in an email that Jeff will be ultimately responsible for the direction of the company during the interim, and will continue to head its furniture business, while merchandising VP Todd Boothe will step into Hymas’ role as point person on the appliance and CE side.
Hymas said he will remain in communication with the committee and take on what can be considered a board role.
His position as president of the NATM Buying Corp., the retail buying organization, will be assumed by Gregg Richard, president/CEO of P.C. Richard & Son.
RC Willey was founded by door-to-door appliance salesman Rufus Call Willey in 1932. His son-in-law Bill Child took the reins in 1954, and sold the business to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway in 1995.
Hymas joined the company in 1987, would later serve as chief financial officer, and succeeded Child as chief executive in 2001.
Under Hymas’s leadership the Salt Lake City-based business extended its reach into Idaho (Boise), Nevada (Las Vegas and Reno) and California (Sacramento), and three years ago opened its largest showroom to date, a 160,000-square-foot superstore in Draper, Utah.
According to a company profile in the Utah Deseret News, Hymas is the son-in-law of Bill Child’s brother Sheldon. The family members, including Bill’s nephews Jeff and Curtis Child, are devout Mormons who extend their religious principals to the business by emphasizing customer service, employee loyalty, debt-free operation and — over Buffett’s initial objections — keeping the stores closed on Sunday.