AutoNation names new CEO, posts strong quarterly profit
DETROIT (Reuters) - AutoNation Inc (AN.N), the largest U.S. auto dealership chain, on Monday named a new chief executive four months after picking someone else for the position, while posting a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit.
Cheryl Miller, who was AutoNation’s chief financial officer, immediately replaces Carl Liebert, who will remain for 30 days to assist with the transition.
Liebert assumed the CEO position on March 11, a month after his hiring was announced from financial services company USAA, where he had been chief operating officer.
“We always that it would be a challenge for someone to get the auto retail business around their head and I think the conclusion was mutual that this was not the right fit,” AutoNation Executive Chairman Mike Jackson said in a telephone interview.
Jackson added he was excited to announce Miller’s promotion, citing her almost 20 years of experience with automotive retail. She had been CFO since 2014 and joined the company in 2009.
“I’m also am thrilled that for the first time in history we have a woman who is a CEO of a publicly traded auto retailer,” he said.
AutoNation said Miller had led several strategic initiatives, including the building of the company’s partnership with Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo and helping AutoNation achieve investment-grade status.
AutoNation also said on Monday that its second-quarter earnings rose to $100.8 million, or $1.12 a share, from $97.6 million, or $1.07 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue was essentially flat at $5.34 billion.
The second quarter this year included a noncash franchise rights impairment charge of 8 cents a share.
Analysts were expecting $1.06 a share on revenue of $5.29 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.