Dealer, Privately Held: KENNETH SCHNITZER, Park Place Dealerships
As chairman of the Dallas-based Park Place Dealerships, Kenneth Schnitzer, 59, operates Jaguar Plano, named the nation's best dealership to work for in 2012 by Automotive News. The winning dealership is a turnaround story. Employees were thinking about leaving when Schnitzer bought the store in 2010. He changed their minds when he spent $1 million on a new showroom, boosted training and replaced or repaired faltering equipment.
Schnitzer also won over the staff with his Saturday visits to the store. He asks employees what he can do to help them do their jobs better -- and follows through when they answer. Jobs at Park Place's 16 luxury-brand stores in Texas and Nevada are much coveted. Staffers are empowered to make things right for customers on the spot. Schnitzer, who bought his first dealership in 1987, says treating employees well means they'll take care of the dealership's clients.