Ally names Jeffrey Brown to replace Muir as CEO of dealer financial unit

Jeffrey Brown

Ally Financial Inc. has appointed Jeffrey Brown as CEO of Ally Dealer Financial Services, succeeding the veteran Bill Muir, who will retire later this year.

Brown, 41, nicknamed “JB,” was senior executive vice president of finance and corporate planning. He joined Ally in 2009. His current financial responsibilities will be transferred to Ally CFO Chris Halmy, the company said.

“JB is a proven leader and has been a critical force in helping to implement Ally’s strategic transformation,” CEO Michael Carpenter said in a statement on Thursday.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Ally was the No. 3 U.S. auto lender by volume, based on new and used vehicles combined, according to Experian Automotive.

Changing times

“Ally is fortunate to have a very strong management team that has helped to guide the company through a highly complex transformation over recent years,” Carpenter said in the statement.

Muir, 59, is expected to stay for “an orderly transition of responsibilities over the coming months,” and retire “by year end,” the company said.

“Bill has been instrumental in transitioning Ally’s Dealer Financial Services business from its captive roots to a market-driven competitor that remains a leader in the industry. I want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and his commitment to the business and Ally’s dealer customers,” Carpenter said.

Been around

Muir has been a fixture at GM and its then-captive finance company GMAC since first joining the GM treasurer’s office in New York in 1983.

He initially joined GMAC in 1992. Except for a stint with what was then GM’s Delphi Automotive Systems, he has been with the auto lender since then. He was named GMAC CFO in 1998, and president of GMAC in 2004.

GM sold a majority stake in GMAC in 2006 but kept a minority stake. As part of a government bailout in late 2008, GMAC became a bank holding company, later renamed Ally Financial. GM sold the last of its stake in Ally in December 2013.

The lender expects to buy out its remaining shares belonging to the U.S. Treasury and finish repaying its taxpayer bailout this year, potentially as part of an initial public offering.

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