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Hertz announces new CEO as Scherr steps down

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Stephen Scherr

Hertz’s Stephen Scherr is stepping down from his role as CEO and as a member of the company’s board of directors on 31 March. 

The car rental company also announced that Gil West, formerly chief operating officer of Delta Air Lines and GM’s Cruise self-driving car unit, will be Hertz’s next CEO from 1 April. 

Hertz said Scherr had decided to leave his role but would work together with West “over the next several weeks to ensure a smooth transition”.

Tom Wagner, vice chair of the Hertz’s board of directors, said: “We are appreciative of Stephen’s contribution over the last two years, including on a number of key strategic initiatives, which Gil will now lead in their continued execution.”

Scherr, who was formerly CFO at leading US investment bank Goldman Sachs, had joined the car rental company in February 2022, about seven months after Hertz exited the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process in the US.

The change in leadership at Hertz comes after the company posted a fourth-quarter 2023 loss of $348 million compared with a profit of $116 million during the same quarter of 2022. 

The company also announced in January that it was selling one-third of its fleet of electric vehicles – leading to questions about the strength of demand for EVs from business travellers. For more analysis on this topic, read BTN Europe’s feature about the future of EVs: Is electric avenue just a dead end?

Colin Farmer, lead director of Hertz’s board, said of the company’s new CEO: “Gil’s success in leading over 70,000 people at Delta and orchestrating highly effective operational turnarounds will position him well to lead Hertz. 

“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. Gil’s prior experience in transportation, travel and mobility will give him important perspective on how to thoughtfully lead Hertz into the future.”

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