Valvoline Inc. announces CEO leadership transition
Sam Mitchell (left) and Lori Flees (right).

Valvoline Inc. announces CEO leadership transition

Valvoline Inc., which operates several quick lube brands including Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Valvoline Great Canadian Oil Change and Valvoline Express Care, announced a significant leadership transition on August 9. Sam Mitchell, who has been at the forefront of the company’s growth and innovation, will retire as chief executive officer and from the Board of Directors on September 30, 2023. Stepping into his shoes will be Lori Flees, currently serving as the president of Retail Services. Along with her new role, Flees will also join Valvoline’s Board.

Rich Freeland, chairman of Valvoline’s Board, expressed his gratitude towards Mitchell for his unwavering commitment over the past 21 years. Mitchell’s tenure saw Valvoline through its successful initial public offering (IPO) in 2016, the recent restructuring of its Retail Services and Global Products sectors, and its establishment as a trusted name in preventive automotive maintenance. Early this year, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) completed its acquisition of the global products business of Valvoline Inc. for USD2.65 billion, through one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Mitchell reflected on his journey, “Leading Valvoline has been a profound experience. I’ve been privileged to work alongside dedicated individuals, and Lori stands out among them. Her strategic acumen and ability to drive results make her the ideal choice for Valvoline’s future.”

Flees, with her extensive background in the automotive and retail sectors, has been instrumental in driving growth for Valvoline’s Retail Services. Her leadership has been marked by a deep understanding of the business, a focus on innovation, and a commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. 

Flees took on the role of president for Valvoline’s Retail Services in April 2022. She oversees a vast network of over 1,800 company-owned and franchised centers. Her career began 35 years ago with General Motor’s GMC Truck division. After 17 years at Bain & Company, she transitioned to Walmart, where she led numerous strategic initiatives, including overseeing Walmart’s Health & Wellness business and forging partnerships with tech giants like Google and Microsoft.