Four top AutoNation Inc. executives — including its COO — are departing amid a $50 million restructuring as the nation's largest new-vehicle retailer continues its search for a successor to CEO Mike Jackson.
The cost-cutting plan also will consolidate AutoNation's three regions into two and is in part prompted by the prospects of a "challenging" 2019 expected for the automotive retail business, the company said in a statement late Monday.
AutoNation shares fell 3.9 percent to $36.18 on Tuesday despite a 1 percent gain in the Dow Jones industrial average.
Among the departures are Lance Iserman, who was appointed COO in May 2017, and Tom Conophy, who became chief technology officer in November 2016. Both Iserman, 53, and Conophy left the company Monday. Donna Parlapiano, 54, retired Jan. 3 as executive vice president of franchise network, merger and acquisitions and corporate real estate. Dennis Berger, chief human resource officer, will leave the company Jan. 31 after assisting with the restructuring plan, the statement said.
"We believe automotive retail will be challenging in 2019," Jackson said in a statement Monday. He positioned AutoNation's move as one that would improve performance and make the dealership group more agile and efficient. "These actions will better position us for a changing market."