Hires and Promotions

DealerSocket adds former GM exec to board of directors


DealerSocket has added Kim Brink, a former executive at General Motors, to its board of directors.

The company announced Wednesday that Brink, who is the current global chief operating officer at Global Team Blue (GTB), brings 20-plus years of experience from GM.

“We welcome Kim’s deep understanding of the automotive industry, her strategic mindset, and her rich marketing expertise,” DealerSocket president and chief executive officer Sejal Pietrzak said in a news release announcing Brink’s appointment.

“We look forward to leveraging Kim’s unique strategic perspectives and insights about partnering with automotive dealerships and original equipment manufacturers. She will bring significant value to DealerSocket, our board, and to our customers,” said Pietrzak.

Prior to joining GTB, Brink started at GM, where she was tasked with overseeing the repositioning of both the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands, according to DealerSocket.

Subsequently, she left GM after over 20 years spent at the company to lead marketing for NASCAR before taking on the role of GTB global chief operating officer.

ADESA names Brenda Aden new ADESA Brasher’s GM

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced Tuesday that it has named Brenda Aden general manager of its ADESA Brasher’s location.

Aden who joined ADESA in 2010, will transition from ADESA Las Vegas GM — a role she’s held since 2016.

Not only has ADESA Las Vegas been recognized as a Best Auto Auction to Work For by Auto Remarketing during her time at the location, this July, she was also featured in its latest Power 300 installment.

“Brenda has extensive experience in auction operations, employee development and customer service — serving as an example to those on her team and a true advocate for our customers,” ADESA chief operating officer Srisu Subrahmanyam said in a news release. “During her more than 20 years in the industry, she has worked in nearly every aspect of the auction business, established strong industry relationships, and fostered a customer experience-focused culture.”

ADESA said that Aden began her career in the industry as an auction block clerk in Denver, and she later transitioned into serving managerial roles at auctions in Orlando and Las Vegas prior to joining ADESA in 2010.

In fact, she started as an assistant general manager during the opening of Premier’s Las Vegas Auction, and played a vital role in opening the ADESA Las Vegas facility in 2011, according to ADESA.

Cars.com announces new chief strategy officer from Alphabet


Just a day after naming a new chief revenue officer, Cars.com announced Thursday that it has expanded its leadership team even further with the appointment of Matthew Gold as chief strategy officer, who was most recently responsible for growing YouTube viewership in new markets at Alphabet — the parent company of Google.

The company announced Wednesday that it has also brought on Doug Miller from Chatbox to succeed John Clavadetscher as CRO.

Meanwhile, the company said that Gold brings a depth of expertise pertaining to strategy development, technology and consulting to his new role.

“Matthew is a proven strategist and important addition to the Cars.com leadership team,” Cars.com chief executive officer Alex Vetter said in a news release. “Over the past year, our company has grown from Cars.com – the online automotive marketplace – to an enterprise of brands offering digital solutions focused on driving the future of automotive retail for consumers and our partners.

“He brings a data-driven approach to strategic planning and execution that will help define and accelerate new growth opportunities across our business and brands,” Vetter said.

During his time at Alphabet, Gold most recently served as head of strategy and operations for emerging market product partnerships at YouTube. He was tasked with forming strategies and partnerships using insights and traffic from some billion-plus users, to help grow YouTube viewership in new markets, according to Cars.com.

In his new role, along with heading the company’s new business development efforts and fostering strategic alignment across all Cars.com brands, Gold also has also been tasked with augmenting and expanding the company's long-term growth strategy, according to the company.

“I see tremendous opportunity in the Cars.com business,” said Gold. “I am excited to be back in Chicago and to work closely with the (Cars.com) team to help move the business forward on multiple fronts.”

Cars.com names former Expedia, Ticketmaster exec new CRO


Cars.com president and chief executive officer Alex Vetter announced Wednesday that the company has named a new chief revenue officer who has held previous executive positions at Expedia, Ticketmaster and Citysearch.

 The company has brought abroad Doug Miller, who most recently served as chief executive officer of Chatbox. He brings a background that includes building digital businesses, as well as growing, scaling and expanding multiple marketplace businesses over the past 20 years, according to Cars.com.

“Doug is a key addition to our executive leadership team, bringing deep experience from technology, media and marketplace businesses using data to unlock new sources of revenue,” Vetter said in a news release. “Doug’s strength is running large global sales teams and transforming organizations for growth. I am confident he will be instrumental in delivering our growth strategies to expand our suite of digital solutions and increase our customer network.”

In his new role, Miller now oversees all of the Cars.com sales channels. He is responsible for managing and growing strategic relationships with 20,000-plus local automotive dealers and more than 30 car manufacturers, according to the company.

 “I’m thrilled to join (Cars.com) during this transformational time. I’m inspired by the culture of innovation and growth and the significant opportunity ahead,” Miller said. “My career has been dedicated to building and expanding customer relationships within the consumer tech space, so I'm looking forward to expanding and deepening dealer relationships at Cars.com in this new role.”

Faraday Future hires head of global legal, government and capital


Faraday Future has brought aboard Henry Hong Liu to head the company’s global legal, government, administration and capital affairs.

The company announced Wednesday that Liu will take on the positions of  global chief administrative officer, global executive vice president and global general counsel.

Liu, an expert in international legal, banking and regulatory affairs, brings over two decades of global career experience serving in roles based in both the U.S. and Asia Pacific regions, according to Faraday.

He joins the company after holding his most recent position as a global equity partner at international law firm Mayer Brown based in New York.

“I have the utmost confidence in Faraday Future’s mission and talents,” Liu said in a news release announcing his appointment. “With my experience, skills and knowledge in both the US and China, I hope to bring an immediate infusion of leadership across global legal, government affairs and finance to this excellent team. Together, we can further advance FF's vision to create a shared intelligent mobility ecosystem.”

Faraday said that  Liu will play a major will as the company prepares to introduce its luxury, all-electric, FF 91 and other expansions for products and services.

Meanwhile, in addition to serving as an equity partner at Mayer Brown, Liu has previously been a partner, managing partner and chair of China and Asia practice at several global law firms, as well as managing director of investment banking for both Credit Suisse First Boston and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Furthermore, Liu also held the position of director-general and general counsel of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. FF said that in 1998 and 1999 he was recognized by BusinessWeek with the Stars of Asia Award the for the role he played during the Asia Financial Crisis and bringing to pass economic and legal reforms in China.

Additionally, Liu is based at FF's Gardena, Calif., main campus and now serves as chair of the company's new functional subcommittee.

LotLinx appoints new Sr. VP of sales from Nielsen Company


LotLinx has named Michael Morrison the company’s new senior vice president of sales, the company announced Friday.

Morrison, who comes to LotLinx after 10 years with the Nielsen Company, brings expertise related to building and leading sales teams responsible for delivering business-critical insights for media spend to companies across several industries.

“Michael is a natural fit for us as we continue to set aggressive goals for ourselves and the dealerships we serve,” LotLinx chief operating officer Gee Leung said in a news release announcing Morrison's appointment. “LotLinx provides tangible ROI, and the numbers bear that out. Michael’s insight will help dealers discern where to dedicate their marketing spend for optimal results. I’m confident that his addition to the team will be a key factor in maintaining the remarkable growth we continue to experience,” Leung said.

According to LotLinx, Morrison most recently served as managing director of North America for the Watch organization of the Nielsen Company, where his work centered on advertising effectiveness.

Meanwhile, in his new role, LotLinx said that Morrison will be responsible for building and leading sales organization at the company.

“The auto industry is experiencing shrinking profit numbers, for both new and used inventory, and rising digital advertising costs,” said Morrison.“That means an optimized budget is key to survival. Increased spending does not automatically equal more sales. You can’t simply throw more money into your ad spend in the hopes of out-shooting the competition.

“That’s just noise, and it is easily ignored by consumers. The real trick is recognizing the exact time a potential customer is most inclined to listen and — most importantly — ready to buy. That’s where a dealer’s budget is best spent,” continued Morrison.

Rapid Recon names Bridget Townsend new VP of development

PALO ALTO, Calif. - 

Rapid Recon announced Wednesday that it has appointed Bridget Townsend to serve as the company's new vice president of development.

Townsend, a leader in automotive software development, who most recently served as chief operating officer and co-founder at Vin Voyager was recognized as a 2014 Women in Remarketing honoree while serving as VP of inventory solutions at Dealertrack Technologies.

“Bridget is a well-established innovator with a remarkable record of leveraging software to bring operational and profitability solutions to auto retailers,” Rapid Recon founder and chief executive officer Dennis McGinn said in a news release.

“Before choosing to join Rapid Recon, she was actively pursued by some of the best-known technology companies in this space. We are delighted she chose to join the Rapid Recon Team.”

Furthermore, in addition to her position with Dealertrack, prior to her time spent at Vin Voyager, Townsend also served as VP of vendor management at DealerSocket. 

“I’ve been involved in software development and implementation within the automotive sector for 18 years, and this product, Rapid Recon, has such a direct and material impact on a dealer’s business,” Townsend said.

“I wanted to work with this team and solution whose high value is very apparent and very measurable.”

Hertz appoints former Allstate VP as new CIO

ESTERO, Fla. - 

Hertz Global Holdings has announced that Allstate’s Opal Perry will serve as the company’s new executive vice president and chief information officer.

Perry, a global technology leader who brings over 25 years of experience, was most recently VP of technology and strategic ventures at Allstate. During her time at the insurance company, she worked to boost customer satisfaction for auto claims using cloud-native applications and microservices, according to Hertz.

“As we transform our business for the future, it's critical that we leverage our information technology and capitalize on data insights to accelerate our growth around the world,” Hertz president and chief executive officer Kathryn Marinello said in a news release. “Opal is a seasoned global business leader, a strong collaborator and a proven partner in driving innovation, simplification and efficiency to create value for customers and, importantly, to create a better experience for our employees.”

In her new role, along with leading Hertz's information technology strategy, Perry has been tasked with overseeing the prioritization and delivery of its cloud-based systems' transformation, the company said.

“I’m privileged to be joining Hertz, an industry leader with iconic brands and a rich history,” said Perry. “The company's forward-looking philosophy and commitment to innovation and growth mirror my own ideals. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together for our employees and customers in the years ahead.”

Prior to joining Allstate in 2011, Hertz said that Perry previously led technology teams concentrated on transformation, innovation and data delivery for Wells Fargo, SPL Worldgroup and Spear Technologies.

Lithia names former Walmart exec new HR head

MEDFORD, Ore. - 

Lithia Motors announced Monday that it has brought on a new senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

Chosen for the position is Erik Lewis, who most recently served as chief human resources officer at the hospitality company Apple Leisure Group.

Lewis' appointment comes just a week after the company announced that it has named its first-ever chief technology and innovation officer, former Massage Envy franchising executive George Hines.

Meanwhile, along with consulting for various companies while at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Andersen LLP, Lewis has also spent time with Sysco Corporation and served as Walmart’s senior director of human resources for Asia.

"We welcome Erik as our first executive dedicated to supercharging our mission of 'growth powered by people'," Lithia Motors president and chief executive officer Bryan DeBoer said in a news release. "Lithia’s people-focused culture is the differentiator behind our substantial growth over the previous five years to $12 billion in annual revenue. Our entrepreneurial team members drive both strong execution and innovation and will take us to the next level of leadership in personal transportation solutions.

"Erik’s experience in building dynamic cultures that maximize an organization’s ability to attract, grow and retain top talent will be a continued catalyst for innovation and success,” DeBoer said.

According to Lithia Motors, Lewis will assume oversight of company human resources from Lithia Motors executive vice president Chris Holzshu.

“Chris’s exceptional leadership in strengthening our culture and shaping our first chief human resources officer role has prepared him to further expand his influence operationally, leveraging his passion for people and managing performance,” said DeBoer. “With growth and innovation objectives and nearly $250 million in earnings potential in our existing store base, we are proud to have Chris focused on delivering operational results.”

CFAA promotes Wheatley to new VP post formed after GM semi-retirement


Columbus Fair Auto Auction has promoted Annie Wheatley to serve as head of fleet operations and service subsequent to the semi-retirement of general manager Chuck Dearing and two other promotions.

The auction announced Tuesday that it chose to develop its newly introduced vice president of fleet services role after Dearing's recent move to take on an advisory and relationship management role that required him to travel around the central Ohio area.

Wheatley’s promotion also follows news from last month that it has promoted Jeff Baerga and Josh Koronich, who now serve as CFAA director of operations and director of dealer sales, respectively.

Meanwhile, Wheatley, who has served in several key positions at the auction, is now in charge of all fleet operations and service-related activities as the first VP of fleet services at CFAA after 28 years of service, the auction announced Tuesday.

“Annie is well deserving of this opportunity” CFAA president Greg Levi said in a news release announcing Wheatley’s promotion. “She knows as much about the internal operations and the office dynamics as anyone in this organization. She consistently performs at a high level and has been responsible for many enhancements to our efficiency initiatives.”