Lance Iserman, former COO of retailing giant AutoNation Inc., has been named CEO of Morrie's Automotive Group, a dealership group headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn.
Iserman, 54, will take the top spot at Morrie's on Monday. He replaces interim CEO Ken Czubay, a former Ford Motor Co. executive, who will remain a board adviser to Morrie's. Czubay, 70, took over for former Morrie's CEO Karl Schmidt this year, according to local media reports.
Morrie's is majority owned by the Fremont Group, a private investment firm, which bought its stake in the dealership group in 2016 from longtime dealer Morrie Wagener. Alan Dachs, CEO of Fremont Group, said a nationwide search was conducted over the last few months.
"We are thrilled to have found Lance. He is a highly experienced and respected operator who for more than 30 years has assumed progressively more senior management roles in the auto dealership industry," Dachs said in a statement. "We look forward to working with him to build an industry-leading automotive group in the years ahead."
Iserman left AutoNation in January, among a handful of executive departures announced by the nation's largest new-vehicle retailer during its search for a new CEO. Iserman had been appointed COO at AutoNation in May 2017. He joined AutoNation in 2001 and held management roles at the company including general sales manager, general manager, market president and regional president. Before joining AutoNation, he worked for Midway Auto Team and the Van Tuyl Group.
"Morrie's is a great company with exceptional people and a sterling reputation built over the last 50 years," Iserman said in a statement. "Morrie's tenured team and strong culture are key advantages as the industry continues to become more competitive. I'm thrilled to be joining Morrie's as we look to build on its solid foundation and continue to grow in the years ahead."
Morrie's has dealerships in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A Honda store and a Jaguar-Land Rover dealership are under construction and slated to open in late 2019 or early 2020. Those stores will bring Morrie's count to 17 brands at 16 locations.
Morrie's ranks No. 99 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 9,741 new vehicles in 2018.