PENDRAGON has appointed Bill Berman as its chief executive with immediate effect – weeks after warning over profits.
Berman, who has more than 30 years’ experience in automotive retail, joined Pendragon as a non-executive director in April 2019 and has been its interim executive chairman since October.
It brings some steadiness to the troubled group, which trades under the Evans Halshaw and Stratstone brands. Previous chief executive Mark Herbert quit out of the blue last June, having been in the role for less than three months, then in September the company announced that some 300 jobs would be axed, with the closure of 22 Car Stores and a preparation centre, after it published a post-tax loss of £129.6m for the six months to June 30.
Berman will continue as interim chairman while the search for a permanent non-executive chairman continues.
Before joining Pendragon, he was president and chief operating officer of AutoNation, the largest automotive retailer in America. In that role, he was responsible for its 26,000 associates and the operational performance of the company’s 300-plus new vehicle franchises, including new and used vehicle sales and aftersales.
‘In my relatively short time with the business, it is already clear to me that Pendragon is a company with great potential and a talented team,’ he said.
‘As chief executive officer, I look forward to building on strong relationships with our team members, customers, suppliers, our OEM partners and investors as we move forward together in a period of rapid change and innovation in the automotive retail sector.’
Shares in the company nudged 0.8 per cent higher to 12.57p in early trading today following the announcement.