Amid a push to expand its dealership client base, finance-and-insurance product company APCO Holdings is taking on auto industry veteran Finbarr O'Neill as its top executive while APCO's founder reduces his role at the company.
After 35 years at APCO's helm, Larry Dorfman, 63, is stepping down from the CEO and chairman spots, and O'Neill takes over both roles. Dorfman will become senior adviser to the company. The changes, announced Thursday, are effective immediately.
Dorfman told Automotive News that O'Neill's history in the auto industry will aid the company's growth. O'Neill, 67, retired as CEO of J.D. Power in March 2018. Before that, he held leadership roles with automakers and dealership services giant Reynolds and Reynolds Co.
"Fin brings to the table expertise we just don't have in the building," Dorfman told Automotive News. "We're a midsize company. Within our industry, we're probably top five. Fin has run multibillion dollar companies, and that's what we really aspire to be."
APCO Holdings, established in 1984, is most known for its brands EasyCare, GWC Warranty, SAVY, Covideo and MotorTrend Certified Vehicles. The Norcross, Ga., company employs around 560 people and works with more than 1,500 franchised dealers and 4,500 independent dealers nationwide.
O'Neill has been on APCO's board of directors since November 2017. The prospect of running the company was exciting enough to lure him out of retirement, O'Neill said, particularly because it provided the opportunity to work with dealers again.
"Dealers are the engine of the industry. They're under pressure," O'Neill said. He will position APCO's products and services as ways to help dealers address those pressures. "It's a great place to be in a time of disruption," he added.