Tom Feeney - In Clear View

Just like anyone else, Tom Feeney has had the misfortune of walking up to his car to see a large spider-web crack across the front of his windshield. The cause of it, a foul ball at a high school baseball game, could have hit anybody’s car in the parking lot. It chose Feeney, the CEO of Safelite, the largest auto glass repair company in the country, which is good luck depending on which way you look at it. 

“I joked around saying that it could have hit somebody else’s car and brought me some business,” says Feeney. “I guess it was kind of like there was a big red target on my windshield.”

For more than two decades, Feeney has worked his way up through the ranks at Safelite stressing service by taking care of his employees so they take care of his customers. Since his arrival, Safelite has raised its sales from $150 million to more than a $1 billion and now services in excess of 95 percent of United States. Feeney never saw himself becoming a CEO of a large company in the automotive industry, but it kind of gravitated to him naturally. 

“My degree is in accounting, and I really thought I would work for a big accounting firm or be a chief financial officer at some big company,” says Feeney. “I’ve always been a big proponent of businesses that provided an excellent service, and in my case, it presented itself through the automotive industry and brought me here.”

Feeney was pivotal in the creation of Safelite Solutions, a third-party insurance claims management arm of the company that helped push customer service to another level for both the insurance companies that work with Safelite and the actual customers getting their cars worked on by technicians. It streamlined the whole process for everyone involved and grew to a point where Safelite Solutions is the largest company of its kind.  Despite the down economic environment, Safelite saw a 12-percent growth last year, which Feeney attributes to their overall service and aggressive sales and marketing, but he’s still not satisfied. 

“Twelve-percent growth, not good enough for me,” says Feeney. “I want to see us grow 20 to 30 percent in a year.”

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