John Robinson III is a former president and chief operating officer of TitleMax, the auto title lender.

Aaron’s names John Robinson III as CEO

Aaron’s Inc., the Atlanta-based rent-to-own company, has named John W. Robinson III as its new chief executive officer.

Robinson had been CEO of Utah-based Progressive Finance Holdings LLC, which Aaron’s announced in April that it had acquired for about $700 million. After the acquisition Robinson joined Aaron’s as executive vice president and CEO of Progressive Leasing.

He is also a former president and chief operating officer of TitleMax, the auto title lender.

In midday trading on Wall Street, Aaron’s stock was up more than 1 percent Monday, trading recently at $26.01. The stock, which closed Friday at $25.70, traded as high as $26.16 Monday before retreating.

Robinson takes over a position that was held by Ronald W. Allen until the end of August. Allen, a longtime Aaron’s board member and former Delta Air Lines chairman and CEO, became CEO of Aaron’s in February 2012, replacing former CEO Robert “Robin” Loudermilk — son of company founder Charlie Loudermilk — who unexpectedly stepped down after three years on the job.

Aaron’s Ron Allen set out to change complacency

Allen’s tenure, however, was marked by slumping sales and an unsuccessful takeover effort by a major investor.

After Allen announced his retirement, he was temporarily replaced as CEO by Gil Danielson, who now will remain executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Robinson will also become a member of the Aaron’s board of directors. In retiring as CEO, Allen also retired from the board.

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