Car hire company Hertz changes its CEO

Following the unsuccessful electric car offensive, which resulted in high write-downs, car rental company Hertz has changed its CEO. Stephen Scherr is stepping down and will be replaced on 1 April by Gil West, who until recently was responsible for operations at GM's robotaxi company Cruise.

Image: Hertz

Hertz announced in mid-January that it would sell 20,000 electric cars from various manufacturers in the US over the course of this year, around a third of the rental company’s global electric fleet. Officially, this measure is intended to “better balance the supply and expected demand for electric vehicles” and enable the company to “eliminate a disproportionate number of lower-margin rentals and reduce the damage costs associated with electric vehicles”. Bloomberg had reported an additional write-down of 245 million dollars at the time.

This write-down of almost a quarter of a billion dollars has now resulted in a change at the top. The current CEO Stephen Scherr will be leaving his post in a few weeks, as Hertz confirmed in a press release. As mentioned, Gil West will take over his job on 1 April. According to the company’s letter, Scherr has decided to step down himself, but no reason is given. However, media reports on the personnel matter clearly establish a connection to the eMobility turnaround – there were apparently differences between Scherr and the Board of Directors.

Tom Wagner, Deputy Chairman of the Hertz Board of Directors, thanked Scherr “for his contribution over the past two years”, for example in a “number of important strategic initiatives, which Gil will now lead the further implementation of”. Scherr himself states that the company is well positioned and that he is looking forward to seeing “how the company implements its strategy as a leading provider in the mobility sector”.

Scherr had not started the eMobility offensive at the car rental company; the order for 100,000 Teslas was decided in 2021 before he took over. However, he has greatly expanded the programme and ordered around 175,000 electric cars from General Motors and 65,000 from Polestar. In other words, he has added a lot more instead of waiting for development.

Gil West is to stick to Scherr’s strategic direction, but achieve the economic turnaround. Although the management of Cruise’s operating business was an important position in the automotive industry, West’s further CV is likely to be at least as important for Hertz: West was also COO of Delta Airlines. “Gil’s success in leading over 70,000 employees at Delta and orchestrating highly effective operational turnarounds will position him well to lead Hertz,” said Colin Farmer, Principal Director of the Hertz Board of Directors. “He will be able to build on the strategic projects begun during Stephen’s tenure, including improvements to technology, commercial partnerships and the revitalisation of our value brands.”

1 Comment

about „Car hire company Hertz changes its CEO“
EV Lover
19.03.2024 um 07:41
After an outstanding move into BEV rentals, Hertz investors got worried and cut back their electric movement. Why are investors determining so much about the directions of major industry? They should butt out and let companies run their companies. We have thoroughly enjoyed renting BEVs from Hertz. None of the other rental/car hire companies in North America come even close. Yes, Hertz bought a large number of Tesla BEVs when they were at their highest price and didn’t get ant purchase deals from Musk, like they do from every Detroit auto manufacturer. Your timing was not great, but we will ONLY rent BEVs now, and will not drive ICEs. The public wants BEVs, but the rental companies are afraid to take the step, plus be certain that charging units are available at all locations. Try planning ahead!

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