Cheryl Miller became the first woman to lead a publicly traded dealership group last week.
It's an important milestone in an industry working to adapt to shifting consumer demographics and greater diversity in the leadership of corporate America.
Her ascendance, however, was tainted a bit by the drama surrounding the sudden departure of her predecessor, Carl Liebert, who had been on the job less than five months. He was new to the industry, yes, but the point was to bring in digital chops and outside perspective into how customers shop on websites, as well as logistics expertise.
It's not clear why Liebert didn't work out. Executive Chairman Mike Jackson said auto retail wasn't a good fit, whatever that means. But the appearance that Jackson is unable to let go of the reins could be a troublesome sign for the new CEO, who was passed over in February.
She does have advantages. In addition to her deep background in the industry and the proven financial acumen to answer to shareholders, such as Bill Gates and Eddie Lampert, she has worked closely with Jackson for years and surely knows better than anyone what she's getting into with this role.
So here's a new person trying to take charge of America's biggest auto retailer with Jackson's shadow looming. In addition to the pressure of adding to record profits, Miller will bear the burden of being a leader for the industry on matters of policy and practice. And like Mary Barra and other trailblazers, she'll have to do it while facing additional scrutiny because she's a woman, whether that's fair or not.
In 2015, Miller told Automotive News that Jackson is a great supporter of women, precisely because he simply expects great performance, regardless of gender. He's also a demanding boss, regardless of gender.
As we told her predecessor: No pressure, but the whole industry is watching.
For her sake, let's hope we get to watch for more than one quarter.