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.
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