For AutoNation's Jackson, Penske sets pace for retirement

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson's employment contract with the country's largest dealership group is up in September.

Jackson will turn 65 next February, but he has no intention of walking out the door any time soon.

Jackson told Automotive News last week that he intends to follow the example of his friend and competitor Roger Penske, the 76-year-old CEO of Penske Automotive Group who moonlights tirelessly at the race track on many weekends.

"Does he look like he's retiring?" Jackson said. "Let's say Roger retires when he's 85, in which case I'll be [near] 75. You can then say: 'Mike's going to retire in 10 years.' Whatever Roger's in for, I'm in for."

Jackson made the comments while in Atlanta to celebrate the renaming of the company’s local stores from the Team brand to the AutoNation brand.

Jackson, who joined AutoNation as CEO in Sept. 1999 and became chairman on Jan. 1, 2003, said his contract is only a formality and that it will be extended before the September expiration.

"I'm committed to the company open ended," he said. "I love the company, I love the business, I feel vibrant, I love what I'm doing."

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