[Updated to correct timing of shift mentioned in first paragraph from Tuesday to Monday.]
AutoNation chief operating officer Lance Iserman and chief technology officer Tom Conophy will be leaving the company effective Monday as part of an operational structure reorganization announced by the retailer, a restructuring that involves several executives departing the company and a change in its regional structure.
As part of the realignment, Donna Parlapiano — who is the executive vice president of franchise network, mergers and acquisition, and corporate real estate — chose to retire effective Jan. 3.
Chief human resources officer Dennis Berger will leave AutoNation on Jan. 31 after assisting in the transition.
In a news release, AutoNation chief executive Mike Jackson said: “We believe automotive retail will be challenging in 2019 and improving our performance, creating synergies across our network, and restructuring our corporate and regional teams are pivotal components of AutoNation's cost savings plan, as we create a more agile, streamlined, and efficient core business that is well-positioned for long-term success.
“These actions will better position us for a changing market,” Jackson said.
He later added: “We want to thank Lance, Tom, and Donna for their years of service and contributions to the company. Realigning, combining, and reducing positions improves efficiencies, speeds up decision making, and reinforces our commitment to providing a peerless customer experience.”
Jackson added: “We would like to thank Dennis for the skill, leadership, and passion he brought to the company.”
AutoNation believes the restructuring will cut costs by about $50 million annually and fosters the retailer’s “flexibility to continue investing in its brand extension and digital capabilities.”
The reorganization also includes a consolidation of AutoNation’s regional structure from three regions to two. In conjunction with the reorganization, AutoNation named James Bender its executive vice president of sales, a move that was effective Tuesday.
Bender, who was been with AutoNation for more than 20 years, was most recently the Eastern region vice president.
“Jim is an exceptional and respected leader, with tremendous success. He will lead all aspects of the variable sales operations,” Jackson said.