Former COO and President Bill Berman resigned abruptly last month. Now AutoNation has divided Berman's responsibilities between Iserman and Arnold, supporting the possibility that the company will look at executives other than the COO as chief executive candidates.
Arnold, 57, was named executive vice president of customer care and brand extensions immediately after Berman's resignation. Last week, Iserman, 52, was named COO and to a newly created role: executive vice president of sales. Iserman and Arnold have been with AutoNation for more than 15 years.
"We had come to the conclusion," Jackson said, "that with all the aspirations we have to grow the business through brand extension, to split the position" between two executive vice presidents: customer care and sales.
Executing AutoNation's brand extension plans for parts, accessories and collision will be Arnold's responsibility, Jackson said. Iserman will oversee the brand extension strategy for AutoNation USA, the company's used-vehicle stores.
Iserman was most recently president of the western region, overseeing the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., retailer's 81 stores and 110 franchises in the region.
Jackson said AutoNation had "quite a number" of internal and external candidates for the COO and sales boss positions, but Iserman was "clearly the best choice."
Steve Kwak, 44, replaced Iserman as western region market president after being on the western region management team for 12 years.