Kevin Gaskell, one of the United Kingdom's rising automotive stars, surprised the industry by resigning as managing director of BMW GB Ltd. All has become clear, however, as Gaskell announced he will head up Carsdirect.com's push into Europe.
As CEO Europe, Gaskell - who made his name as managing director at Porsche GB and then BMW while in his 30s - will be responsible for building the CarsDirect.com business, the company's first move outside of the United States.
CarsDirect.com is the first U.S. nationwide online service providing consumers with a complete car buying experience - from research, pricing, customizing and financing to personal delibery of the car to a home or office.
'Kevin is recognized as one of the United Kingdom's most successful and talented managers and on of the key leaders of the automotive industry,' said Bob Brisco, CEO of CarsDirect.com, in Culver City, California. 'We're delighted Kevin will be leading our expansion into Europe.'
Gaskell said, 'working with CarsDirect.com's outsansing management team, it is my intention to mirror the company's achievements in the United States.'
Gaskell is an action man. A keen athlete, he regularly made the 30-mile trip from home to the BMW AG office in Bracknell, Englend,astride a motorcycle or mountain bike. Last year, he chalked up another goal by climbing Mount Everst.
Since being appointed managing director in 1996, Gaskell oversaw three successive years of record performance for BMW and the development of an Internet distribution strategy.
At Porsche Cars Great Britain Ltd., he was responsible for the turnaround of the German sports car.
Gaskell began his career as a civil engineer at R.M. Douglas Construction, followed by a job in the chemical industry as an accountant at Dow Chemical Limited. He was to take his new post with CarsDirect.com on March 1.