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IRVINE, Calif. — Autobytel recently announced it brought back a former executive who will now serve as executive vice president of corporate development. Making his return to the company is Steve Lind, who has a total of almost 15 years of industry experience.

For almost a decade, Lind worked at Autobytel, helping the company secure what it called some of its most successful and innovative strategic partnerships with automakers.

Lind first joined Autobytel back in 1998, serving as manager, then director of market representation. In that role, Lind developed and instituted a model that Autobytel contends dramatically changed the way dealer territories were priced and sold.

Autobytel then promoted Lind to senior vice president of strategic accounts, securing the company's original relationships with AutoNation, FordDirect, General Motors, Asbury Auto Group and many other OEMs. Autobytel also pointed out that Lind spearheaded an online inventory pilot with GM.

After leaving the company, Lind most recently headed up the automotive group for LeadPoint, an online lead generation firm. Lind also aided in the creation of Stealing Home Media, a company that orchestrated business development work, market research and analysis, sales and organization development and online marketing plans.

Lind's other industry experience also includes time at Nissan North America.

"I am excited to rejoin Autobytel at a time when, I believe, the company is uniquely positioned to take the lead in the next game change in the online lead generation business," Lind said.

"I look forward to helping advance Autobytel's mission of continuing to innovate to help the industry meet not only its current economic challenges, but the tremendous opportunities on its horizon," he continued.

Autobytel chief executive officer Jeffrey Coats expressed his thoughts about Lind rejoining the company.

"We are very pleased to welcome Steve back to Autobytel. His highly impressive track record of leadership and corporate development speaks for itself," Coats noted.

"No one in the industry has a keener eye for identifying smart partnership opportunities or more pertinent experience with strategic innovation in the online automotive and lead generation space," Coats went on to say.

"We are very pleased to add Steve's unique vision — and his deep understanding of our dealer and OEM customer base — to our team," Coats concluded.