Hertz Global (HTZ) Names Paul Stone As CEO

By Noah Long ● May 18, 2020
  • Today Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE: HTZ) announced it named Paul Stone as chief executive officer

Today Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE: HTZ) announced it named Paul Stone as chief executive officer. Recently, Hertz announced a quarterly loss of $1.78 per share — which was a much greater loss than expected on Wall Street. The stock price drop of nearly 80% year-to-date also reduced investor confidence in the company.

As of March 2020, activist billionaire investor Carl Icahn owned 55.3 million shares in Hertz — which gave him ownership of nearly 40% of the company. And earlier this month, it was reported that there has been a three-way dispute between Hertz’s creditors, lenders, and investors.

Last week Hertz missed a loan repayment and asked lenders to extend the deadline until May 22. Now Hertz has been given until May 22 to come up with about $400 million due to pressure from the holders of the company’s asset-backed securities. It is believed that the company’s banks and investors will have to decide whether to keep plugging money into the company or push towards bankruptcy.

Hertz has been especially taking a hit due to the “dramatic negative impact” associated with the coronavirus pandemic, which forced people around the world to stay at home and avoid travel. This dramatically reduced the demand for rental cars.

Stone had started his 28-year career with Sam’s Club / Walmart as a store manager and was quickly elevated through the ranks to Western US divisional senior vice president. And he led operations for nearly 200 locations with over 30,000 employees.

Before Hertz, he served as senior vice president and chief retail officer at Cabela’s. And over the course of his career, he delivered strategy, service, people development, and full-scale retail operations leadership.

Stone had joined Hertz in March 2018 to oversee the company’s North American car rental operations — which encompassed approximately 4,500 locations and 27,000 employees. At Hertz, he simplified operations, developed talent, and elevated service standards thus resulting in Hertz winning the JD Power award for the first time in 16 years. Along with car rental, the scope of his responsibilities also included Hertz’s Transportation Network Companies and Car Sales businesses.

Hertz runs the brands Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty.

Executive Changes

Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE: HTZ) said Stone will specifically be President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. And Stone — who was most recently Hertz’s Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Operations Officer, North America — was elected to the Hertz Board of Directors.

Stone is succeeding Kathryn V. Marinello — who is planning to continue with Hertz in a consulting position for up to one year to support a smooth transition.

Key Quotes:

“After an ongoing succession planning process, the Board elected Paul to lead Hertz’s next chapter. Paul brings a customer-centered approach to growing the business that is driven by process excellence and employee engagement. Having successfully run our largest business segment for the last two years, Paul helped strengthen our brands by elevating service standards across the North American car rental operations.” Keizer continued, “We also want to thank Kathy for her contributions as an exceptional business leader. Since joining the company in January 2017, she oversaw a successful operational turnaround, transformed Hertz’s culture, and built a best-in-class leadership team. The Board wishes her all the best.”

– Hertz’s chairman Henry Keizer

“The hardest part about stepping down is leaving the amazing employees that have earned my respect over the last three-and-a-half years. It was an honor to serve them. I am confident that under Paul’s leadership, Hertz will prosper long into the future.”

– Kathryn V. Marinello

“It is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to lead Hertz. I thank Kathy and look forward to working with my colleagues to do what Hertz people do best – anticipate where transportation, mobility and technology are going and innovate to best serve our customers, stakeholders and communities.”

– Paul Stone