Ex-Subaru marketing chief Dean Evans named CEO of software firm

Evans, 45, joined Subaru in September 2011 and left in May.
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Dean Evans, former chief marketing officer for Subaru of America Inc., is the new CEO of software company LotLinx Inc., the company said today. He joined the company last week.

Evans, 45, who left Subaru in May, succeeded Jason Knight, who headed LotLinx since December 2012. Knight has remained with the company as COO. Evans said in an interview with Automotive News that LotLinx approached him a few months ago while he was at Subaru.

“It’s really exciting to go from a corporate job to a smaller company,” Evans said. “I’ve been assessing the business model, the go-to-market plan and the new growth strategy.”

LotLinx -- launched online in October 2013 -- provides a technology platform that directly links car shoppers from search engines and automotive research sites to dealership listings, avoiding lead forms on third-party sites such as AutoTrader.com and Cars.com.

The company’s Web site states: “We are a company built and run by Automotive Industry leaders.”

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Knight’s experience before LotLinx was based in the consumer products and food and beverage industries. He had been CEO of HMR Foods Inc. and COO of Mozzarella Fresca Inc.

Evans’ resume alternates between the automotive and technology industries.

He started his career in Boulder, Colo., as a Pontiac dealership salesman in 1990. He became a field representative for Chrysler from 1991 to 1996, before managing a dealership in San Francisco from 1996 to 1998.

He began working in online startups in 1998, moving from Nextag to Autofusion in 2000. When Autofusion ran out of money, Evans rejoined the auto industry as digital marketing manager for Land Rover’s U.S. operations in 2001.

Evans tried the dot.com industry again in 2003, working for Dealix, Cobalt and Dealer.com. In September 2011, he took the chief marketing officer spot at Subaru.

As chief marketing officer, Evans implemented innovative digital marketing strategies, such as Google paid search ads, to direct consumer traffic from competitors. As LotLinx CEO, he will oversee strategic direction, customer relations and the company’s Vehicle Display Network.

“LotLinx is the first disruptive technology marketing product that I have seen in the last five years that delivers such a compelling competitive advantage to dealers,” Evans said in a statement. “The metrics prove that VDP advertising should be prioritized ahead of paid search, third-party lead buys and targeted display spends because it presents consumers who are lower funnel at a lower cost.”

Evans said in the interview with Automotive News that while he hopes to eventually return to retail, the technology LotLinx is developing is vital to industry progress, and an opportunity he wanted to be a part of.

“When I saw this emerging technology coming up … it was something retail really needed,” Evans said. “I wanted to go back to the technology side and go though another wave of evolution.”

Diana T. Kurylko contributed to this report.

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