Greg Miller, CEO of Larry H. Miller Group of Cos., is stepping down as the nation’s 11th largest dealership group restructures.
Greg Miller, 48, is leaving to pursue personal interests, the company said Monday.
Greg Miller, one of founder Larry Miller's sons, served as CEO for seven years. He was named CEO on July 16, 2008. Larry Miller died at age 64 in 2009 of complications from type 2 diabetes.
“This is the right move for me personally, for my family and for the business,” Miller said in a statement. “The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies is now entering a new phase and requires a new structure.”
Gail Miller, 71, the owner of the LHM Group and Larry Miller’s widow, will transition the company to a new corporate structure, the statement said.
The new structure will include an outside board of directors, the statement said. It is “designed to provide for multi-generational family ownership and future growth.”
Clark Whitworth, president of The Larry H. Miller Management Corp., has assumed Greg Miller’s responsibilities. Whitworth previously served as the group’s official CFO and, unofficially, as Larry Miller’s right-hand man.
As part of the changes, another of Larry Miller’s sons, 43-year-old Steve, is stepping down from his role as president of Miller Sports Properties “to assist in other areas of the family’s interests,” the statement said. Jim Olson, the COO of Miller Sports Properties, will assume Steve Miller’s responsibilities on an interim basis.
Son Bryan, 37, will stay on as president of Miller Inspiration. Miller Inspiration provides lessons and services related to professional training and personal development to business leaders based on the principles of Larry H. and Gail Miller, a spokeswoman said.
Greg Miller took over as the Group’s CEO at the height of the recession. He faced the painful process of slashing costs and then growing the Salt Lake City company. He adopted a delegating management style, much different from his late father’s micromanagement approach.
“I know what the vital signs are for our organization. I keep my eye on those and if we deviate, then I give it my attention, but I don’t try to micromanage,” Greg Miller said in an interview with Automotive News last August. “I try to be more focused on mission, vision, values, culture and direction and implement those things. That leaves me time to be with my family and to enjoy life in a way my dad rarely did.”
To make it through the recession, Miller said he had to cut $29 million in expenses. But under his leadership, the company grew from 39 dealerships in 2009 to 55 at the end of 2014. Revenue doubled in that period. The company also owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz franchise, which Miller ran.
In the statement, Gail Miller said the latest corporate leadership changes are a “natural evolution of a large and growing enterprise.”
“Larry’s dream was for our businesses to survive the two of us well into the future,” she added. “This change will provide the structure for that to happen.”
Larry H. Miller Group ranks No. 11 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups in the U.S., with retail sales of 56,182 new vehicles in 2014.