Hertz CEO Mark Frissora Resigns Under Pressure From Icahn, Other Investors

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Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ) announced on Monday, September 8th that chairman and CEO of the firm, Mark Frissora, had resigned.

Today’s statement from Hertz detailed that Frissora stepped down for unspecified personal reasons. The statement went on to say that Prissora will be replaced as CEO on an interim basis by Brian P. MacDonald, the chief of Hertz Equipment Rental. Furthermore, the lead independent director of the BoD, Linda Fayne Levinson, will move in to the role of nonexecutive chairwoman.

A number of analysts have already noted that Frissora’s decision comes just weeks after shareholder activist Carl Icahn disclosed an 8.48% stake in the rental car provider (and, of course, plans to improve shareholder value). Of note, one of Icahn’s problems with Hertz was a “lack of confidence in management.”

Statement from Hertz

“During Mark’s tenure, Hertz has transformed from a single on-airport car rental brand to a world leading rental car company with a portfolio of brands that reach multiple consumer and business segments both on- and off-airport,” new board chair Levinson noted in a statement. “We appreciate his strong commitment to Hertz.”

The rental car firm;s statement also described Frissora’s interim successor, Brian MacDonald, as experienced in handling corporate turnarounds such as Sunoco and Isuzu Motors. MacDonald also served on the board of Ally Financial as a director selected by the Treasury Department.


Mark Frissora pursued acquisitions

Frissora was the architect of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ)’s aggressive acquisition strategy of consolidating the industry and folding in more brands. Hertz bought Donlen back in 2011 to beef up long-term car and truck leasing division.

In 2012, Mark Frissora succeeded in acquiring of its main competitors, Dollar Thrifty, in a deal that took several years to come to fruition.

However, since then, Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ) shares are up around 120%, while those in the Avis Budget Group are up almost 300%.

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