AUL Corp., one of the largest F&I product companies in the U.S., has promoted its chief information officer to a dual operations position.
Jose Fleites, 49, who joined AUL in 2018 to update and modernize the company's information technology systems, adds the title of COO. The move highlights the company's focus on modernizing its customer relationship management and claims processing systems.
CEO Jimmy Atkinson said Fleites' IT work helped launch AUL from a single product provider to a full-scale F&I vendor.
"Jose has a tremendously broad background both in operations as well as IT," Atkinson told Automotive News. "In the year and a half or so that he's been here, we've created a multiyear pipeline of projects to upgrade and enhance all of our IT solutions. And it just carries over into what we do operationally every single day."
After nearly three decades of offering service contracts for new and used vehicles, the Napa, Calif., company launched a full suite of products last May. Atkinson said the market had shifted since the company's launch, and many clients at larger franchised groups and dealerships wanted to rely on one source for F&I products.
"With these new systems underlying our core businesses, it was a natural transition to align the functions of claims and service support under one senior leader," Atkinson said in a statement.
The COO slot at AUL had been vacant since Atkinson became CEO three years ago. Atkinson was COO from July 2010 to June 2017.