MRO Magazine

Motion Industries chairman Bill Stevens to retire March 1


February 24, 2015
By Bill Roebuck
Bill Stevens has been with Motion Industries since 1978.

Bill Stevens has been with Motion Industries since 1978.

Birmingham, AL – After 37 years at Motion Industries — a distributor of industrial maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) replacement parts — chairman Bill Stevens announced his plans to retire, effective March 1, 2015.

Tim Breen, named president and chief operating officer in 2013, then President and chief executive officer in 2014, will succeed Stevens. The two have worked closely together during the past few years to ensure a smooth transition.

Upon making his retirement announcement, Stevens commented, “Tim brings significant experience and skills to lead Motion Industries. It will be exciting to see the future, as Tim and his management team continue the wonderful tradition of our company.”

Tom Gallagher, chairman and chief executive officer of Motion’s parent, Genuine Parts Company, commented, “Bill was the CEO at Motion Industries for 18 years, and Motion has grown to become one of the leading industrial distribution companies in North America, largely attributable to his leadership. We wish him the very best in his retirement. We are also excited to have Tim Breen in the role of president and CEO. Tim’s proven leadership and tremendous industry experience make him the right person to lead Motion to further success in the years ahead.”


An illustrious career

Stevens began his career with Motion Industries in 1978 as director of human resources. After several promotions to various other roles, he was named president and chief operating officer, before becoming president and CEO in 1997. With Stevens at the helm, Motion Industries’ sales grew from $1.85 billion (1997) to $4.8 billion in 2014 (US dollars).

A portion of this growth, in both sales and footprint, can be attributed to the 38 acquisitions completed during Stevens’ tenure as president and CEO. Growth in product offerings, program introductions and system advancements since 1997 have also contributed to Motion’s expansion under his leadership. This success is reflected with the honour of numerous awards received from customers over the years for quality, service and efficiency.

Recognition highlights

Stevens has personally received a number of distinguished awards, including 1997 and 2006 Genuine Parts Company Manager of the Year, and the 2014 Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been a BSA member since 1989 and has served in many capacities. He also has been an active member of the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) for many years, as well as serving on numerous boards of both for-profit and non-profit organizations in the Birmingham area.

Other industry recognition includes interviews in various trade publications.

With annual sales of $4.8 billion, Motion Industries is an industrial parts distributor of bearings, mechanical power transmission, electrical and industrial automation, hydraulic and industrial hose, hydraulic and pneumatic components, industrial products, safety products and material handling equipment. It has over 550 operations, including 15 distribution centres throughout North America, and serves more than 150,000 customers from the food and beverage, pulp and paper, iron and steel, chemical, mining and aggregate, petrochemical, automotive, wood and lumber, and pharmaceutical industries.

Motion Industries is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC). Visit our website at Contact us toll-free at (800) 526-9328.