Hertz Taps New CEO to Guide Its Way Out of a Viral Mess

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hertz taps new ceo to guide its way out of a viral mess

Rental car giant Hertz, which recently struck a deal with creditors amid debt incurred by the coronavirus pandemic, has a new CEO.

Paul Stone, formerly the company’s executive vice president and North American chief retail operations officer, was named to the top spot on Monday. There, he’ll face a full plate, though saving the company will be Job One.

As we told you earlier in the month, Hertz Global Holdings, which isn’t alone in the virus-born cratering of rental fleet usage, has struggled to cope with mounting dept. The deal struck with creditors afforded the company an extended grace period in which to get a handle on its financial situation. Restructuring experts were brought in. Its workforce faced a cull long before that.

Last week, Hertz took the drastic but clearly necessary step of cancelling much of its planned fleet turnover, scrapping 90 percent of the new-car orders it expected to make in the interest of fresh lot fodder. The company held roughly 567,600 vehicles in its U.S. fleet and 204,000 in its international unit in 2019.

Kathryn V. Marinello, who led the company for more than three years, plans to stay with the ship for up to a year.

“Paul brings a customer-centered approach to growing the business that is driven by process excellence and employee engagement,” said Hertz Chairman Henry R. Keizer, Hertz’s Chairman in a statement. “Having successfully run our largest business segment for the last two years, Paul helped strengthen our brands by elevating service standards across the North American car rental operations.”

Before joining Hertz in 2018, Stone, 50, served as senior vice president at Cabela’s — a business your author quite enjoys visiting.

Shortly before Monday’s announcement, Hertz got the jump on the Memorial Day weekend by introducing “Hertz Gold Standard Clean” on Friday — an “enhanced vehicle cleaning and sanitization process that concludes with each vehicle being sealed and certified ‘Hertz Standard Gold Clean’ before each rental.” The 15-point process conforms to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the company claims.

This, a new vehicle delivery service, and touchless rental options are just some of the ways Hertz plans to lure Americans out of their homes and onto the road this summer. If you’re really worried about the ‘rona, we’d suggest leaving that a/c button untouched and keeping the windows up when parked. Let the summer sun bake the virus away.

[Image: Hertz]

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  • Redapple Redapple on May 18, 2020

    Enterprise is my favorite. Better selection & newer. Avis, budget national etc. Seems like ALL the cars I ve rented had 30,000 real hard miles on em.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on May 18, 2020

      I'm National Executive Elite and I can't remember the last time I had anything with over 10k on it. My last one was a Challenger R/T with 18 miles in Arizona. I broke it in.

  • Piratethecat Piratethecat on May 20, 2020

    I'm getting Jaguar F-Pace vibes from the rear end. Something about the taillights.

  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.
  • Peeryog OK , my fault. But there were a number of inadvertent scatalogical references in the original post. To which, having the intellectual maturity of a 12 year old boy, I snickered.
  • Ajla People that buy a new Silverado or Sierra without a V8 are like the people that get salmon at Peter Luger.
  • MKizzy The Mazda 6 wagon needs to be brought here pronto. Sexy looks aside, it would look less out of place in Mazda's CUV lineup vs the sedan, and since Mazda wants to go "premium," wagon customers tend to be the most affluent (if Daimer-Benz is to be believed). My second choice is the attractive Hyundai i40 wagon, which would replace the defunct VW Sportwagon in the small/mid size wagon niche.
  • Carlson Fan GM needs new leadership. A 9000lb off-road vehicle???? Don't get that thing stuck in a remote area.Imagine if they had brought back the iconic K5 Blazer name and built something to compete with the Wrangler like Ford did with the Bronco. They could have offered that with an electric power train in addition to the gas models. Ford may have some quality issues right now but whoever is steering that ship knows what they are doing. The Bronco & Maverick where both brilliant ideas.