Painter resigned Oct. 30 as CEO, saying in a memo to employees that he had "concluded that new leadership is needed to sharpen the company's focus on its core strengths and to pave the way to profitability," according to The Wall Street Journal. Adam Hieber of SoftBank took over as interim CEO.
In a telephone interview, Painter said he continues to believe in Fair's concept: allowing consumers to pay an open-ended monthly subscription for late-model used cars that Fair purchases from dealers, including a "start fee" large enough to keep consumers from constantly turning over their vehicles. But, he admitted, the underlying finances have proved challenging at his latest venture as an automotive retail disrupter.
"The jury's out on whether or not we were going to be successful, you know, and whether or not we're going to be long-term profitable, but that's obviously what we're hoping and what we are working towards and what we are committed to getting to, for sure," Painter told Automotive News.
Painter said the executive shuffle was required "because we're going through a scaling moment and we need to prioritize. ... I invited Adam and the team from SoftBank in. The whole reason we chose SoftBank in the first place was really how capital-intensive this business was, and, to some degree, I'm relieved that I've got partners that are here to help me figure this out right now."