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Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Petsmart, CEOs establish distinguished faculty chair at IU's Kelley School

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The former and current chief executives of Petsmart Inc. and the company together have established a new faculty chair at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, where both executives earned advanced degrees.

One of the requirements for the newly endowed position, the Petsmart Distinguished Marketing Chair, at the prestigious business school is that he or she be a leading researcher on retail marketing.

Samuel J. Parker, a 1969 graduate of the school's master of business administration degree program and Petsmart's second chairman and chief executive officer, and Philip L. Francis, a 1971 MBA graduate and the company's current chairman and CEO, their wives and the Phoenix-based pet retailer together are giving $1.5 million to the Kelley School to establish the chair.

"The Marketing Department at the Kelley School has long been ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Maintaining that elite status depends largely on our ability to attract and retain world-class faculty. We are proud to be honored with an endowed chair that bears the Petsmart name and are deeply grateful to Phil and Juanita Francis and to Sam and Sandra Parker for their generosity," said Dan Smith, interim dean of the Kelley School. "All four have been long-time supporters of the Kelley School mission, and we will forever be in their debt. This gift will have an important and enduring impact on the quality of research and teaching at Kelley."

To fill the new position, the school will conduct a national search in 2005-06 to locate a scholar of critical issues in retail marketing, particularly database marketing and customer relationship management. In a unique twist and consistent with Petsmart's mission, the scholar also must be a "pet parent," as stipulated by the donors.

Philip and Juanita Francis previously funded the Harvey C. Bunke MBA Business Ethics Workshop at the Kelley School. The school inducted Philip Francis into its Academy of Alumni Fellows last spring. He joined Petsmart as president and CEO in March 1998 after spending 10 years on the company's board of directors. He previously was president and CEO of Shaw's Supermarkets Inc., in Massachusetts, and was corporate vice president of wholesale operations for Roundy's Inc., a grocery distributor.

Parker led Petsmart from 1989 to 1996 as CEO and president. He briefly served again as the company's chairman and CEO in 1997 and early 1998. Prior to Petsmart, he was president and CEO of Frame-n-Lens Optical, president of the Gemco and automotive divisions of Lucky Stores Inc., and in various positions at Jewel Cos. He was president and CEO of Jewel's Sav-On-Drugs subsidiary. His wife, Sandra, is a native of Crown Point, Ind. His three brothers also earned degrees from IU.

The Kelley School of Business, through more than 80 years of innovation, continues to maintain its visibility as one of the country's premier business schools. Its undergraduate and advanced programs are ranked among the best in the country, and many of its graduates hold leading positions at many of Indiana's and the nation's top companies.

Petsmart is the largest specialty retailer of services and solutions for the total lifetime care of pets. The company operates more than 700 pet stores in the United States and Canada, as well as a large pet supply catalog business and the Internet's leading online provider of pet products and information.

EDITORS: Francis may be available for interviews. To do so contact Bruce Richardson, Petsmart director of external communications, at 623-587-2662 or