Hires and Promotions

LotLinx names chief operating officer


LotLinx announced Wednesday that Gee Leung has joined the company as chief operating officer.

Within a career spanning two decades, Leung has been a trusted advisor to several digital media and technology companies, according to LotLinx.

The company said Leung’s experience includes working with some of the largest global technology leaders and he brings a view of best practices from across a wide range of companies.

“We are extremely pleased to add Gee’s caliber of experience to the team,” LotLinx founder Len Short said in a news release announcing Leung’s hire. “I’ve known Gee a long time and he has an unparalleled insight into what drives success for technology companies. I am confident his energy and dynamic background will resonate with our customers, and our team will greatly benefit from his skillset and unique perspective.”

Leung most recently served as partner at AGC Partners before taking on his new role.

Prior to AGC, Leung held senior banking positions at both MESA Global and Montgomery & Co., according to LotLinx.

“I have been covering the automotive digital marketing sector for years and have always admired LotLinx for its innovation and dedication to the dealer,” added Leung.

“Len and the team have built something special, creating a platform that’s truly revolutionizing the way dealers and OEMs conduct digital marketing. I’m excited to bring my expertise and background to LotLinx, and look forward to helping our customers and partners succeed.”

Additionally, early in his career, Leung was a technology M&A banker at Friedman Billings as well as part of the technology investment banking team at Citigroup.

Morgan Auto Group appoints north Florida regional director

TAMPA, Fla. - 

Morgan Auto Group announced Monday that it has named Dan Like the regional director of its north Florida operations in Jacksonville and Gainesville.

Like most recently served as general manager for six years at Morgan Auto Group’s Honda of Gainesville store.

“I am so pleased that Dan Like will have this opportunity to grow his influence within our group. Dan is a fantastic business person but also an ethical leader who never forgets about the human element of our business,” Morgan Auto Group chief executive officer Brett Morgan said in a news release. “He is disciplined and detail oriented and will be a tremendous asset to our entire leadership team.”

During his tenure at the Honda of Gainesville store, in addition to reaching Honda sales goals, the capacity of the store’s service and repair business grew significantly, according to Morgan Auto Group.

The store received the American Honda President’s Award in 2016.

“I am looking forward to working with the rest of our team to make a greater impact in the Gainesville market where I currently live and in my hometown of Jacksonville as well,” added Like.

Morgan Auto Group’s portfolio includes 29 dealerships representing 15 brands. In the two regions Like is leading, there are seven dealerships representing the Kia, Buick, GMC, Mitsubishi, Honda, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz brands.

Correction: Edited to include correct dealer count number for Morgan Auto Group. 

Cox Automotive moves 2 execs to new, expanded roles


Cox Automotive announced Tuesday that it has promoted Zach Hallowell to vice president of Manheim Digital Marketplace and RMS Automotive, and expanded the role of Derek Hansen as vice president of offsite solutions.

Hallowell has extensive experience in the global wholesale automotive industry, which includes over 15 years spent developing and evolving SaaS platforms to support wholesale automotive processes.

Prior to his new role, Hallowell was responsible for directing and coordinating the global activities of RMS as general manager. RMS celebrated a significant milestone last year when it reached the 400,000th vehicle being transacted on its platform, according to Cox Automotive.

Prior to joining RMS in 2015, Hallowell held several senior leadership roles at OPENLANE and also served as vice president of product management for ADESA.

“As we grow and scale our digital marketplaces, we continue to put the right people in the right roles to best serve our clients’ needs for omni-channel buying and selling,” Manheim Digital Marketplace and RMS Automotive president Nick Peluso said in a news release announcing Hallowell's promotion. “I am pleased to promote Zach to this leadership role. His vast remarketing experience and creativity is exactly what we need to drive the evolution of our technology platform and services.”

In addition to RMS Automotive and its global business, in his new role, Hallowell will direct the overall domestic and global operational activities for OVE, Manheim.com, Simulcast and OEM-specific marketplaces.

Hallowell will be responsible for ensuring efficiency and productivity while coordinating with Manheim’s physical and mobile auction leadership teams.

Additionally, Hallowell will also work closely with Hansen, whose responsibility now includes all digital and mobile offsite solutions.

Hansen has been responsible for Manheim’s digital operations as vice president of digital inventory solutions since taking on the role in 2016.

In his newly expanded role, all digital and mobile offsite solutions including OVE, Bid Lot and Mobile offerings are now organized under him.

The change provides consistency and further strengthens Manheim’s overall dealer offsite and omni-channel strategies, Cox Automotive said.

Hansen will work with Hallowell regarding all key decisions involving the OVE.com and Manhem.com marketplaces.

Hansen joined Cox Automotive in 2015 as senior director of strategic planning, and also previously served in roles with Bain & Company, Deloitte Consulting and Intel Corp.

Cars.com adds Best Buy exec to board of directors


Cars.com announced Monday that it has appointed Bala Subramanian to be a non-executive member of its board of directors.

Following a comprehensive search process, the board approved Subramanian’s candidacy on Dec. 15, according to the company.

Subramanian is the chief digital officer of Best Buy, where he also previously served as chief technology officer.

“Bala's experience in digital transformations and developing best-in-class consumer experiences will be invaluable to Cars.com as we advance our strategy, transform the car shopping experience and deliver digital solutions to our dealer customers,” Cars.com director, president and chief executive officer Alex Vetter said in a news release. “He joins the board at a time when we are focused on optimizing Cars.com's strong technology platform and innovating new products and solutions to create meaningful connections between buyers and sellers.”

Subramanian brings over fifteen years of leadership and management experience in the technology and digital retail fields.

His background includes building out consumer experiences in competitive environments and high-powered organizations that deliver reliable and highly-scalable solutions, Cars.com said.

“I am excited to join Cars.com as the company leverages its well-established digital platform to better connect consumers with local retailers across the country,” added Subramanian. “Cars.com has accumulated an unmatched amount of industry insight that is a key advantage for the company as it builds relevant, scalable solutions that meet the varying needs of car dealers and buyers alike. I look forward to working with the board and management team in the company's journey to evolve car shopping as we know it and grow the business.”

Prior to Best Buy, Subramanian held both leadership and technology strategist positions at T-Mobile.

AutoTec promotes McElrath to president of Red Mountain Technologies


AutoTec announced Monday that it has promoted John McElrath to president of Red Mountain Technologies (RMT), a subsidiary of the company that provides vehicle history data to auto auctions and insurance carriers.

McElrath most recently served as RMT vice president of sales and joined the company in 1998.

“John has been instrumental in Red Mountain Technologies’ success over the last 20 years. We would not be where we are today without John,” AutoTec president of Chuck Redden said in a news release announcing McElrath’s promotion.

McElrath replaces Steve DeMedicis, who will now serve as RMT chief strategy officer. 

“John has earned this position delivering results and demonstrating he has the vision and business acumen to lead the company.  John’s character, integrity, intelligence, sense of humor and empathy shine through,” said DeMedicis.

DeMedicis is now responsible for helping develop and drive RMT’s strategic initiatives in his new role, according to AutoTec.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead such a great company. I’ve seen what happens when you have a focused group of caring people all working for a common purpose,” said McElrath.  

“Our Red Mountain team is second to none when it comes to delivering critically needed vehicle history data to customers all over the country. Our customers trust us to protect them from undisclosed problem vehicles.  In 2018, we will continue to provide that same level of protection while working on new enhancements to our service.  These will include improved delivery methods and additional proprietary data sources,” he continued.

Former XLerate exec takes on new president post


After eight years at XLerate Group, Darris McClure has joined Catastrophe Solutions International (CSI) to head the North American operations.

McClure brings operational expertise from the technology-enabled automotive services industry to his new role.

 “Recruiting Darris reflects our commitment to our customers to develop and deliver the best tech-enabled solutions for the challenges faced by our partner/customers. At the same time adding an executive of this caliber is a statement to our staff that we are committed to provide the most meaningful career opportunities through growth and servant leadership," CSI chief executive officer Michael Morrison said in a news release.

"His experience in the automotive industry in operating and innovating will be a tremendous asset to CSI in our current growth phase and I look forward to working with Darris as we continue to build a world-class organization," Morrison said.

Additionally, he spent his time at XLerate growing the company through acquisitions and organic growth initiatives.

AutoGravity names chief technology officer

IRVINE, Calif. - 

AutoGravity welcomed a new chief technology officer who is bringing experience from global firms such as eBay, Microsoft and Walt Disney.

On Tuesday, the online vehicle sales and financing platform appointed Sheng Wang as CTO to drive the company’s global engineering efforts. Wang joins AutoGravity’s executive team with responsibility for leading product and engineering to deliver a trustworthy and innovative car buying experience that empowers the consumer.

“Sheng is a true master of her trade, a trusted leader with the utmost command of product and engineering, uniquely qualified to take AutoGravity technology to the next level,” said Andy Hinrichs, founder and chief executive officer of AutoGravity, in a news release. 

“Sheng's authentic, hands-on leadership has been instrumental to our speed and success in setting the pace of digital retailing in the automotive industry. We are confident in her ability to rally our world-class engineering team to definitively own the digital car buying journey, beginning to end and beyond,” Hinrichs continued.

Prior to her appointment as CTO, Wang led AutoGravity product development as the company’s first director of product, building cross-functional teams to develop and launch the AutoGravity platform, as well as branded platforms for Volkswagen Credit and Kia Motors Finance.

Wang joined AutoGravity with more than 15 years of leadership experience in the technology industry and an uncompromising dedication to building dynamic teams and high-impact products that people love.

“As mobile technology matures and mobile usage continues to surge, more and more people are looking to shop and buy their cars online. Car shoppers want an easy way to find the right car, check affordability, secure their financing and get the car delivered to them in a few simple steps.” Wang said.

“It has been rewarding to see how AutoGravity has already changed the car financing process and I can’t wait to continue the journey to provide the best digital car buying experience to all consumers,” she continued.

As CTO at AutoGravity, the company said Wang will elevate the platform by applying her passion and expertise in user experience, customer relationship management, program management, project planning and workflow analysis to the forefront of the company's developmental efforts. Prior to AutoGravity, Wang led product development teams at eBay, Microsoft and Walt Disney.

automotiveMastermind announces 2 new execs


automotiveMastermind announced Tuesday that it has appointed Mohamed Al-Daqa as its new chief implementation officer and Pam Perry as new chief people officer.

“Bringing Mohamed and Pam on board is the right step toward an integrated company approach that ultimately improves the customer experience,” automotiveMastermind chief executive officer Marco Schnabl said in a news release announcing the new hires. “With the exponential growth we have experienced over the last year, the addition of Pam and Mohamed will help us to continue our innovation.”

A hands-on information technology leader, Al-Daqa brings over 25 years of experience. He has served various industries, where he provided expertise in implementing sales platforms, technologies and business development, according to automotiveMastermind.

In his new role, Al-Daqa will oversee the company’s predictive marketing, product, and data implementation teams.

As chief people officer, Perry will head the automotiveMastermind human resources team.

With more than 30 years of experience transforming organizational cultures, Perry’s expertise includes driving change management, merger and acquisition integration, performance management and employee engagement, according to automotiveMastermind.

“With the growth the organization has experienced over the last year, it has become sought out by many potential employees,” added Perry. “Leadership has worked hard to foster a culture of collaboration and our team intends to further expand on that foundation.”

Additionally, Perry is the founder of HR Equity Inc., an organization which helps build equity for both privately-backed companies and venture capital-backed companies in the high-tech world.

Donlen brings aboard 2 new execs


Donlen recently announced that it has brought aboard Bob Barna to serve as vice president of strategic sales and Ian Crapper as managing director of global business.

“As Donlen advances our offerings for large, global fleets, we are committed to investing in and retaining successful, results-oriented fleet professionals,” Donlen president Tom Callahan said in a news release. “Bob and Ian’s expertise and leadership will ensure that our growing customer base continues to be served at the highest level.”

Barna most recently spent four years in business development at LeasePlan where he forged new client relationships with large fleets across the western region of the U.S, according to Donlen.

In his new role, in addition to being responsible for building relationships with companies throughout the country, Barna will also collaborate with Donlen’s sales territory managers to administer proactive and ongoing strategic solutions to fleets.

“The Donlen team offers an unparalleled offering with the knowledge and experience to improve the efficiency of any size fleet,” Barna said. “I look forward to the opportunities of building off of Donlen’s proven customer service approach, and leveraging their extensive technology platform to provide value to large fleets.”

As new managing director of global business, Crapper has been tasked with managing Donlen’s global fleet program to enhance services for existing global customers. 

Crapper is a sales executive who brings more than 20 years of business experience. Prior to joining Donlen, Crapper led sales and marketing efforts at LeasePlan Canada.

“Working with Donlen’s far-reaching global partners is a tremendous opportunity for me and our customers. I feel the team and our approach will bring tremendous success to Donlen’s worldwide customers,” added Crapper.

Ally appoints Josh Wilsusen to head Washington office


Ally Financial announced Tuesday that it has appointed Josh Wilsusen to head the company's Washington office as its new managing director for public policy and government affairs.

Wilsusen most recently served as executive director of government relations at Morgan Stanley where he represented the company both on Capitol Hill and at federal banking agencies regarding securities and banking issues.

While at Morgan Stanley, Wilsusen also served as co-chair of the Structured Finance Industry Group's government relations subcommittee.

“Josh's experience in financial services and on Capitol Hill is perfectly suited to advancing the public-policy interests of Ally and our customers,” general counsel for Ally Financial Scott Stengel said in a news release.

“He embodies our innovative spirit and commitment to 'doing it right' and will focus on championing political solutions that benefit communities across Ally's nationwide footprint.”

In his new role, Wilsusen will oversee its public-policy strategy and direct its advocacy and outreach to executive, legislative and other political bodies and officials at all levels of government, according to Ally.

Wilsusen served as securities counsel to former U.S. House Financial Services Committee chairman Michael Oxley prior to Morgan Stanley.

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