Hertz announces new CEO

Stephen Scherr departs amid losses related to EV residual value

Hertz announces new CEO
Hertz reported losses in the most recent quarter

Car rental firm Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr has decided to step down after just two years in the role, after the firm’s bet on EVs contributed to losses in the most recent quarter.

Scherr will be replaced by Gil West, former Chief Operating Officer of GM's Cruise unit, who left that company as part of the fallout from an incident in which a pedestrian was seriously injured.

"We are thrilled to have Gil join Hertz as Chief Executive Officer," says Tom Wagner, Vice Chair of the Hertz Board of Directors. 

Scherr oversaw a major pivot to EVs in Hertz’s fleet. Over the past two years the rental company signed agreements to buy 100,000 EVs from Tesla, 175,000 from GM and 65,000 from Polestar.

But EVs in Hertz’s fleet depreciated in value faster than expected, and also saw much higher incidents of damage. 

This contributed to a loss of $348mn in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to a profit of $116mn in the year-ago quarter. 

As a result Hertz decided to sell 20,000 EVs from its fleet earlier this year so it could buy more ICE vehicles. It has also paused the Polestar purchase. 

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The Hertz board indicated that West would be tasked with continuing some of the strategies put in place by Scherr, rather than overhauling them. 

“Gil's prior experience in transportation, travel and mobility will give him important perspective on how to thoughtfully lead Hertz into the future," says Colin Farmer, Lead Director of the Hertz Board of Directors. “He will be able to build upon the strategic projects begun during Stephen's tenure, including improvements to technology, commercial partnerships and the revitalisation of our value brands."

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