AutoNation Inc., just months after naming an outsider to lead the nation's largest auto retailer, has a new CEO in Cheryl Miller, who becomes the first woman to lead a publicly traded dealership group.
Miller, AutoNation's CFO, was named CEO and president of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company on Monday, replacing Carl Liebert. Liebert, the former COO of insurance provider USAA who was chosen out of hundreds of applicants in a months-long search, was hired in February and took office March 11 to lead AutoNation as Mike Jackson moved to executive board chairman.
Miller, 47, also was named to AutoNation's board of directors. Both appointments are effective immediately.
Jackson told Automotive News late Monday that Miller in February was the runner up for the top job.
“She was right there. As I said back then, we reached for some exciting capabilities that we thought, we know Carl brought to the table,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t a fit in automotive retail. It was mutually agreed that it wasn’t a good fit.”