After launching a new integrated software product earlier in the week that it says will streamline the post-accident process, Enterprise Holdings on Friday announced the retirement of the third chief executive officer in its 60-year history, saying she is the highest-ranking woman in the entire U.S. car rental industry.
Pamela Nicholson will retire as Enterprise chief executive officer at the end of this year. The company said it will name her successor after a board of directors meeting in December.
Nicholson is the first Enterprise Holdings chief executive to come from outside the Taylor family. That family founded the company in St. Louis in 1957.
Enterprise says she is also the highest-ranking woman among the world’s largest travel companies. In addition, according to the company, she is among the top female chief executive officers across all industries based on company revenue.
Among her other honors, Nicholson has been named to Fortune magazine's annual list of the “Most Powerful Women in Business” for the past 13 years, and Enterprise employees voted her as the highest-ranking woman among 100 chief executives who earned a Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award. That award recognizes Glassdoor’s highest-rated chief executive officers.
“Pam Nicholson is more than a dynamic and inspiring business leader,” Enterprise executive chairman Andrew Taylor said in a news release.
Taylor continued, “She is the quintessential Enterprise success story — the personification of our company’s promote-from-within culture,”
Nicholson jointed Enterprise in 1981 after graduating from the University of Missouri, starting as a management trainee behind the rental counter. She moved on to the top leadership team through what Taylor described as a “combination of great management skills, keen business instincts and just plain hard work.”
“She has played a critical role in taking Enterprise from a regional car rental company to a global provider of total transportation solutions,” Taylor said. “In recent years, she was instrumental in driving an aggressive international expansion that has globalized our brands through a growing network of franchise partners.”
Taylor also said, “Beyond her strategic and operational accomplishments, Pam’s passion for mentoring a new generation of Enterprise leaders has positioned us extremely well for the future. We could not be more grateful to her for all she has done to advance our growth and success. And we wish her all the best as she and her husband, Cal, embark on a well-earned retirement.”
At the time Nicholson joined Enterprise in 1981, the company had just topped 50 locations. At that time, it operated a rental fleet of about 5,000 vehicles and was generating revenue of about $80 million.
Through an integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchises, Enterprise Holdings today operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. It also operates more than 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport locations in 100 countries and territories.
As measured by revenue and fleet, it is the largest car rental company in the world, according to the company. With its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management, it operates more than 2 million vehicles throughout the world.
In fiscal year 2019, the company accounted for $25.9 billion in revenue.
Nicholson rose through the ranks during her first 12 years at Enterprise and then earned a promotion to regional vice president in the company's Southern California regional subsidiary. Under her leadership, the subsidiary’s fleet grew from 1,000 to more than 27,000 cars, and it is currently the company’s largest regional subsidiary.
Nicholson returned to her hometown of St. Louis in 1994, becoming a corporate vice president at Enterprise's worldwide headquarters. In that post, she oversaw 10 regional subsidiaries throughout the United States.
Enterprise said she played an instrumental role in establishing what it said were the first national preferred provider rental agreements between the company and many of the top auto manufacturers. Nicholson in 1997 was promoted to the top job in New York, which was the company's second-largest regional subsidiary.
Enterprise said New York experienced “excellent fleet growth and saw its profitability more than double” during Nicholson’s two years as general manager, After her promotion to senior vice president of North American Operations in 1999, Nicholson moved back to St. Louis, and she was named chief operating officer in 2003.
In 2008, she was appointed president. In 2013, she was promoted to chief executive officer.
A global member of the World Travel and Tourism Council and The Business Council Nicholson also serves on the Hyatt Hotels Corp. board of directors. She is a benefactor to various social causes in the St. Louis area and is a major supporter of the Humane Society of Missouri.
New product streamlines post-accident process
Enterprise Holdings says its new technology platform “helps manage the claims process beyond car rental.”
The company, which operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand, has launched Entegral, the new name for its integrated software product. The platform was formerly known as ARMS Business Solutions.
Enterprise says the product streamlines the post-accident process. It will help service providers who are working to get customers back into a vehicle and on the road, according to the company.
The technology platform can enable communication and collaboration between tens of thousands of worldwide collision repair shops, insurance providers and other industry professionals, Enterprise said.
Entegral assistant vice president Joe Rector said the insurance claims process is complex.
“And with Entegral, our goal is to connect everyone involved so they can work quickly and efficiently to make things easier for customers,” Rector said in a news release.
He continued, “Our customers will continue to receive the same great services they are accustomed to with no interruption. The new name captures the spirit of the technology — combining the strength of Enterprise, the integral role we play in the industry, and the integrity we strive to bring to every customer and partner interaction."
Enterprise said the Entegral platform complements the value of Enterprise's Automated Rental Management System software, or ARMS.
The company introduced the software in 1999, and it connects insurance providers, collision repair shops and dealership partners, which Enterprise said helps them effectively manage rental programs from their desktops.
Enterprise said the Entegral system builds upon Enterprise’s more than 60 years of helping customers get where they need to go after their vehicle is lost or damaged. It started in 1957 with the company’s car rental business. Then it grew with the founding of ARMS. Later, Enterprise Holdings acquired Cyncast Inc. and Performance Gateway LLC. Enterprise then made a significant investment in research and technology to ensure a successful pairing of the two applications.
In 2017, the pairing formed the foundation of the ABS platform, which is now named Entegral.
Enterprise said the Entegral system, when paired with ARMS, enhances the customer experience from right after an accident occurs to the completion of the claim.
More than 50 insurance providers, including most of the top 25 insurance companies, as well as car manufacturers and collision network sponsors in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and Puerto Rico, use the Entegral platform.
Entegral features profiles on more than 20,000 body shops, and Enterprise describes it as “an industry-leading source of profile body shop data and insights.”
Enterprise describes the Entegral platform as a trusted source of repair provider capability as more technology is integrated in cars.
“Entegral is a solutions-based platform,” said Entegral vice president Dan Wessel. “We remain steadfast in our longtime commitment of safeguarding the privacy of collision repair data, while also supporting open access to data, benefiting all parties involved.”
Enterprise Holdings has also made an investment in Entegral, relying on the platform to support its fleet of more than 2 million vehicles. Enterprise uses the software in a practical application every day on its fleet.