Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr to Step Down March 31

Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr (R) with AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney after the two companies in January 2023 extended their 45-year partnership with the signing of a new five-year agreement.

Photo: Hertz

After only slightly more than two years in his post, Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr will resign March 31, the company announced March 15.

Scherr will be succeeded by Gil West, former chief operating officer of Delta Airlines and GM’s Cruise unit, starting April 1. West and Scherr will work together over the next several weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Scherr joined Hertz in February 2022 after spending nearly three decades at Goldman Sachs leading a range of strategic and operational functions. He departed the firm as chief financial officer in December 2021.

“We are appreciative of Stephen’s contribution over the last two years, including on a number of key strategic initiatives, which Gil will now lead in their continued execution,” said Tom Wagner, vice chairman of the Hertz Board of Directors, in a news release.

Although neither Scherr nor Hertz gave any official reasons for his resignation, the depature comes within a few months after Hertz announced a major pullback from its investment in electric vehicles and its largest quartely earnings loss in three years. Hertz is shedding 20,000 EVs, which amounts to one-third of the EV fleet, due to high repair costs and customer resistance.

“Over the last two years, the Hertz team has worked diligently to put the company on track for long-term success in a changing automotive landscape,” Scherr said in the release. “Hertz is well-positioned for the future, and I look forward to seeing the company execute on its strategy as a leader in mobility.”

While at Goldman Sachs, Scherr was a principal architect and leader of the bank’s new consumer business, helping to build Marcus by Goldman Sachs and leading the launch of AppleCard. In addition to his experience standing up a digital consumer business, Scherr has deep experience in building business partnerships.

West has served as COO of GM’s Cruise unit since January 2021 and before then was the COO of Delta Airlines from March 2008 to October 2020. While at Delta, West was responsible for Delta’s worldwide operations, including 366 airports in 66 countries, 1,300 aircraft, 200 million customers per year, more than 70,000 employees, and a budget of $16 billion, according to his bio at theorg.com.

“Gil’s experience as a successful leader in operationally intensive businesses will further strengthen [Hertz’s] world class team of over 27,000 global employees who work tirelessly to deliver outstanding service to customers daily,” Wagner said.

Added Colin Farmer, lead director of the Hertz Board of Directors: “Gil’s success in leading over 70,000 people at Delta and orchestrating highly effective operational turnarounds will position him well to lead Hertz. He will be able to build upon the strategic projects begun during Stephen’s tenure, including improvements to technology, commercial partnerships, and the revitalization of our value brands.”

West said he looks forward to working with the Hertz team to build on its 106-year history of brand strength and customer loyalty.

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