NADA President Brady to step down, join energy company
Brady led NADA through an industry sales collapse, the 2009 bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler, and the closing of thousands of their dealerships.
Phil Brady, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, is leaving after 11 years at the helm to become head of government relations at the newly reconstituted Phillips 66.
Brady, 61, announced his departure today in a memo to NADA staff.
NADA Chairman Bill Underriner intends to name the association's COO and CFO, Joe Cowden, as interim president, the memo said. Cowden will take over Aug. 13 and serve until Brady's successor comes aboard.
"While this is an exciting opportunity, it is with genuine regret that I will leave this great association," Brady wrote in the memo.
Brady, who directs a staff of nearly 350 employees, was appointed NADA president in June 2001 after serving as its industry affairs chief. He succeeded the late Frank McCarthy, who was the association's chief executive for 33 years.
During his tenure, Brady saw the organization through an industry sales collapse, the 2009 bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler, and the closing of thousands of their dealerships.
In his memo to staff, Brady described NADA as a "full-service trade association" and touted its success in maintaining over 90 percent membership penetration for the last 10 years.
"Phil has had a profound impact on the auto industry, successfully leading our association through tumultuous and virtually unprecedented times," Underriner, a dealer in Montana, said in a statement. "Phil has been particularly effective advancing dealer interests in the legislative arena, responding to the governmental and industry challenges that have increasingly faced the dealers in this country. He will be very hard to replace."
Both Brady's father and grandfather were car dealers. He arrived at NADA from the now-defunct American Automobile Manufacturers Association.
He was an assistant to President George H.W. Bush from 1991-93. His Reagan Administration posts included general counsel for the Department of Transportation and deputy counsel to the president.
An all-staff reception is planned for Aug. 10 to mark his departure, according to the memo.
Earlier this year, ConocoPhillips spun off its refining, pipeline and chemical assets to create Phillips 66, of Houston. It began trading as a public company on May 1.
Brady will be based in Washington and oversee state, federal and international policy and government affairs.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.