AutoNation Makes Moves with Board of Directors


AutoNation appointed a new independent director to its board late last week.

Joining the leadership team is the president of ESL Investments — AutoNation's largest stockholder — Mike Mikan.

“We are very pleased to have Mike join the AutoNation board,” said Mike Jackson, AutoNation’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Mike brings a wealth of operational and public company leadership experience that complements the expertise of our other coard members."

Mikan became president of ESL Investments on Jan. 1. Previously Mikan served as the interim CEO of Best Buy from April until September of last year.

From November 1998 through February of last year, Mikan served in various executive positions at UnitedHealth Group, including as executive vice president and chief financial officer, as well as chief executive officer of its Optum subsidiary, a diversified health services business.

AutoNation also announced that William Crowley has decided not to stand for re-election to the AutoNation board and will retire from the dealer group’s board effective upon completion of the company’s annual meeting of stockholders, which is expected to be held in May.

AutoNation indicated Crowley wanted to focus on other professional interests.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to have served with the board of AutoNation,” Crowley said. “I remain a significant shareholder, and I have great confidence that Mike Jackson, his leadership team and the rest of the board will continue to improve the business and create value for shareholders.”

Jackson added, “Bill has been a member of our board for over 10 years, and his guidance and partnership have helped me lead our company. We thank him for his years of service on the board.”

Crowley, Jackson and the rest of AutoNation’s board watched the company’s new-vehicle sales increase in February.

AutoNation stores turned 21,168 new units in February, a 6-percent rise from the same month a year ago.

The company noted same-store retail new-vehicle unit sales in February were 20,623, an increase of 3 percent year-over-year.

Total retail new vehicle unit sales for AutoNation's operating segments were as follows:

—6,655 for domestic, up 8 percent
—10,467 for import, flat versus a year ago
—4,046 for premium luxury, up 19 percent.

On a daily selling rate basis, AutoNation said its total retail new-vehicle unit sales increased 10 percent. There were 24 selling days in February compared to 25 selling days in the same month last year.

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