Maccabeus Top AutoMobility Stories – April 2023

  • Torqata Announces New Female Leadership
  • DeVilbiss Names Strategic Business Unit Director
  • Personnel Changes at Robert Bosch GmbH
  • The Alliance Appoints Senior Category Analyst – Under Hood
  • Wells Vehicle Electronics Names VP of Sales & Marketing
  • Idemitsu Lubricants America Names Michael Park Vice President
  • Continental Names New Head of Smart Mobility for N. America
  • Lucid’s customer experience chief leaves amid layoffs
  • Bartec USA Names Addition to Sales Team
  • Speedway Motorsports Promotes Michael Hodge to CFO
  • Chris Anderson Appointed EVP of Elgin Industries
  • Change in Global Management Board at FEV
  • LCI Industries Names Lillian D. Etzkorn as EVP and CFO
  • FleetPride Names Kevin Weadick as CEO
  • Premium Guard Appoints North America CFO
  • Andrew Wareing named Nissan Americas purchasing boss
  • Tesla’s co-founder and former tech chief Straubel returns as a board member
  • Blaine Brothers Announces Next Gen Company Leaders
  • Tom Petersen Named Motor Supply Co. CMO
  • Universal Technical Institute Hires Tracy Lorenz
  • Global Shop Solutions Names Director of Product & Engineering
  • Continental Tire Appoints New PLT Sales Directors
  • Stellantis hires new CFO, replacing merger architect Richard Palmer
  • VP Racing Names Steve Ward Director of Marketing
  • Hyzon Motors Names 1st COO
  • Lubrication Specialties Hires Director of Marketing
  • Ryan Wentling Named Visteon VP of Investor Relations
  • Multiple Employee Promotions Set for KYB
  • GM nominates retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Jan Tighe to board
  • Peterson Manufacturing Names Director of Fleet Sales
  • Lev Peker Named PARTS iD CEO
  • KYB Promotes Erick Kinnunen to National Training Manager

Torqata Announces New Female Leadership

Torqata Data & Analytics, a software company in the tire industry, welcomes Kirsten Zaremba, Ashley Hoyt, and Kate Beirowski to the team, bringing additional experienced women into the automotive industry. Torqata also congratulates Elizabeth (Liz) Schneider on her new promotion to vice president of Product. Kirsten is on board as the new director of marketing, bringing more than 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry supporting the automotive aftermarket, dealers, and vehicle manufacturers, such as Volkswagen. Among the key initiatives while at the Auto Care Association, she led efforts to ensure secure and direct access to vehicle data with the “Your Car. Your Data.” campaign and Right to Repair. In addition, she is a Women in Auto Care member, on the Wheel and Tire Council for SEMA, and an ambassador of TechForce. Ashley joins as the newly created senior manager of business development and partnerships, bringing on more than ten years’ of experience.  Along with her childhood roots in the automotive industry, she is an experienced partnership manager. Most recently, she created the Enterprise CSM team at RepairPal, a software company for auto repair and maintenance, and defined the team’s mission and recruitment goals. In addition, she is a member of Women in Auto Care and YANG. With more than ten years’ experience as an inspirational sales leader in the logistics and automotive industries, Kate joins Torqata as the Director of Inside Sales. She has built successful sales teams from the ground up and will bring that success to Torqata as we continue to grow and transform the tire industry. In addition, she is a member of Women in Auto Care. The company also announces the recent promotion of Liz Schneider to vice president of product. Liz joined Torqata in 2021 as the Product Area Manager, and has been a considerable part of Torqata’s success and growth in her previous role. She has more than 25 years of experience in the financial industry in various roles serving retail, small business, and commercial clients. Leveraging data to enable better customer experiences that drive revenue and deliver efficiencies has been at the heart of every role she’s had. In her new role with Torqata as the VP of Product, Liz will continue to lead her teams to meet their strategic goals and contribute to Torqata’s success. “The uniqueness of every team member here at Torqata, combined with their knowledge and expertise in the industry, will help Torqata to, as we say, drive better decisions,” said Tim Eisenmann, CEO of Torqata Data and Analytics, “We celebrate equity and encourage women of the industry to continue to lead and pioneer our efforts. We’re proud of our new additions and promotion to Team Torqata!”  Source: Aftermarket News

DeVilbiss Names Strategic Business Unit Director

Carlisle Fluid Technologies announced the promotion of Jacob Fortmeyer to strategic business unit director for DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing Group. Fortmeyer joined Carlisle in 2018 through the Carlisle Management Development Program. He spent the last four years as Carlisle Fluid Technologies Product Manager for the Fast-Set, Mix Meter Flow, and BGK product lines. His leadership and experience will help refocus the DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing business, according to Carlisle Fluid Technologies. “Jacob’s experience will help bring vision and product innovation to our valued channel partners and customers,” says Andres Lacassie, Carlisle Fluid Technologies vice president of sales and marketing. “Jacob will focus our resources and grow the DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing business.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Personnel Changes at Robert Bosch GmbH

Effective April 1, there will be a personnel change on the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. Filiz Albrecht, a management board member and director of industrial relations responsible for human resources and social welfare, occupational safety, environmental protection and sustainability, legal services, compliance management, information security, data privacy, and the Bosch business in India has decided not to prolong her contract after 2024. She will step down from the board of management effective March 31. Stefan Grosch will join the board of management as director of industrial relations effective April 1, assuming responsibility for human resources and social welfare, occupational safety, environmental protection and sustainability, legal services, compliance management, and the Bosch business in India. Grosch began his career at Bosch in 1992. Following executive positions at plants in Spain and Brazil, he worked at corporate headquarters, where his responsibilities also included internal auditing. In 2017, he then joined Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH as director of industrial relations with responsibility for finance and purchasing. Since October 2022, he has been executive vice president for commercial affairs in the Powertrain Solutions division. “I can look back with gratitude on the years in which my team and I were able to give a new strategic direction to many areas at Bosch, especially human resources, compliance and legal services, and sustainability management. With extensive training programs in mobile and digital transformation aimed at securing employment, innovative measures for making HR work more efficient, and the systematic implementation of a modern smart-work approach, we have made the company a frontrunner in my area of responsibility, as well as fit for the future. It fills me with pride that Bosch has become an even more attractive employer, and that it is now an employer of choice in the software development field as well. I would also like to add a special word of thanks to the employee representatives and the IG Metall union for their trust and constructive collaboration,” said Albrecht. “We respect Filiz Albrecht’s decision, and regret that she is leaving us. We wish her all the very best for the future. With her proactive and sympathetic manner, she made significant contributions to shaping the company’s future,” said Prof. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, managing partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG und chairman of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Filiz Albrecht has done sterling work for our company. We would explicitly like to thank her for helping to steer the company through a phase marked by pandemic, fundamental upheaval in our markets, and digital transformation,” added Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.  Source: Aftermarket News

The Alliance Appoints Senior Category Analyst – Under Hood

Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. has announced the return of Denton Lewis, who was recently hired as senior category analyst – Under Hood. In this position, Lewis will play a key role in the category management department, as he brings strong analytical and data management capabilities. According to the Alliance, Lewis has a knack for critical thinking and will help the Alliance fully leverage the wealth of aftermarket sales and market research data available to provide data driven insights. “Denton Lewis was a strong contributor with us in the past, bringing him back now as a senior analyst is great for our headquarters office but more importantly it adds another knowledgeable resource for our shareholder members.” said Justin Hebert, director of category management and the commercial vehicle and heavy-duty program at the Alliance. “His job duties will involve direct interaction with our valued channel partners and our distributor members and will work with the entire category management team to continually refine some our most fundamental product segments and brands.” In this role, Lewis will work with new and existing manufacturing channel partners, perform annual under hood category reviews, assess sales, margin, and evaluate inventory performance by leveraging internal and industry data sources. He will conduct market research and business intelligence for the analysis of competitive positioning, product quality and vehicle coverage. Lewis will be the main point of contact for the under-hood category.  Source: Aftermarket News

Wells Vehicle Electronics Names VP of Sales & Marketing

Wells Vehicle Electronics has announced that automotive industry veteran David Stewart has joined Wells as vice president of sales and marketing. With more than 30 years of automotive industry involvement, Stewart brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Wells team. “David’s proven track record of success in our industry, coupled with his leadership skills and ability to build strong relationships with associates, customers and partners makes him an excellent addition to our aftermarket commercial team and our executive management team,” said Pat Sommerfeld, president and chief operating officer of Wells Vehicle Electronics. In his new role, Stewart will be responsible for leading Wells’ aftermarket sales and marketing efforts, developing and executing strategies to drive profitable revenue growth, ensuring that sales efforts satisfy customer needs and are aligned with the company’s overall business strategy. The company added that he will be responsible for delivering on WVE’s promise to provide exceptional service and support to its customers throughout the relationship, all while building strong relationships with customers at every level. “I am honored to join Wells Vehicle Electronics and excited to bring my passion and energy for the automotive industry to this great company,” said Stewart. “I look forward to working closely with our team of dedicated associates and supporting their efforts to deliver professional-grade products and superior service to our customers.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Idemitsu Lubricants America Names Michael Park Vice President

Idemitsu Lubricants America (ILA) has announced the promotion of Michael Park from senior director to vice president of AMO/OES Divisions & Distributor Accounts. After joining the Idemitsu team in 2011, Park became the architect of the organization’s national bulk oil program. He not only spearheaded the company’s nationwide distribution capabilities, but developed strong rapports with distributors who, at the time, were less familiar with the Idemitsu brand. He accomplished this by setting new benchmarks for performance, with attention to detail and a distribution strategy that catapulted Idemitsu into a dynamic, flexible and reliable partner to leading OEMs. Under Park’s command, Idemitsu consistently won top OEM supplier awards, with some of the fastest-growing and largest OEMs in America putting their trust in Idemitsu for both bulk-based and direct-ship programs. Since taking over the reins of the Aftermarket Division, Park successfully re-structured the group to allow for greater cross-functionality designed to exceed customer expectations. Whether this encompassed bulk oil distribution, setting up nationwide drum ship programs or introducing more sustainable customer SKUs, Park’s vision has been to keep Idemitsu’s approach focused on aftermarket innovation, customer service and product development. “With such phenomenal results and growth, despite a challenging post-Covid period for the industry at large, Mike is the natural choice to lead and steer Idemitsu Lubricants America into the future,” says Kazumi Kikuchi, ILA president. “His deep understanding of the lubricants industry, strong relationships with valued customers and partners, and passion for embracing the Idemitsu culture is what makes Mike such a strong leader and perfect choice for this new position.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Continental Names New Head of Smart Mobility for N. America

Continental has announced that Rosa Meckseper has taken over as the head of the Smart Mobility Business Area of Continental North America. She succeeds Jim Bayley, who retired on March 31, 2023, after serving more than 32 years in the automotive industry. The Smart Mobility business area focuses on business involving mobility services, fleet operators and commercial vehicle manufacturers. Meckseper will be responsible for the strategic development and executive management for multiple departments, including Commercial and Specialty Vehicles, Transportations Technologies, and Aftermarket. “It’s been an honor to work alongside Jim for all these years. His leadership and expertise have been invaluable to Continental. We congratulate him on a wonderful career and wish him well in his well-deserved retirement,” said Aruna Anand, president and CEO, Continental Automotive, North America. “We are also excited to welcome Rosa to the North America leadership ranks. Her experience and expertise will be invaluable as we focus on expanding our Smart Mobility initiatives.” Meckseper joined Continental in 2018 as the global head of strategy and innovation in Germany, where she was responsible for cross-divisional technology strategy to advance future mobility research projects. Since then, she also served as the global head of corporate strategy and as a member of the Automotive Aftermarket Management team in Germany. “I am thrilled to take on this new opportunity and join a team that is changing the way people experience mobility,” said Meckseper. “It’s an exciting time within our industry as we innovate pioneering technology aimed at producing greater efficiency and convenience. I look forward to building toward the future and continuing to develop innovative, unique solutions in the smart mobility space.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Lucid’s customer experience chief leaves amid layoffs

Lucid Motors layoffs are hitting across all levels of the electric vehicle startup, including its head of customer experience, Len Devanna, who announced his exit on social media. “During my two plus years with the company, I’ve had the pleasure of working with one of the most passionate and dedicated groups of people,” Devanna wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “Together, we took a company public, brought the world’s best EV to market and shattered every record for efficiency, performance and innovation.” In announcing the layoffs last week, Lucid said the reductions would affect every organizational level, including executives. About 1,300 workers, or 18 percent of the work force, were laid off, Lucid said. On LinkedIn, former employees announcing their departures included assembly crew, software and manufacturing engineers, quality inspectors, recruiters and retail workers. Many are now seeking positions in the automotive or tech industries, according to their posts. Lucid has not announced first-quarter production or delivery numbers, but Cox Automotive forecast sales of 1,344 Air sedans in the January-March period. Lucid sells just one luxury model in multiple trims. January registration data from Experian showed the Air had 553 registrations. The automaker gave 2023 guidance for 14,000 deliveries but has warned of falling demand. CEO Peter Rawlinson said on a February earnings call that much of his focus has shifted from solving manufacturing issues that were holding back production to raising brand awareness to stimulate sales. Lucid’s order backlog fell to 28,000 in February from 34,000 late last year. The preorders are nonbinding, and deposits of $300 to $1,000, depending on the model, are refundable. The EV maker, which is majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, reported a net loss of $473 million in the fourth quarter on revenue of $258 million. In announcing the layoffs, Rawlinson said the company was implementing a cost reduction plan “given evolving business needs and productivity improvements.” Lucid is based in Newark, Calif., and its factory is located near Phoenix. The Air sedan starts at $89,050 with shipping. Tesla’s competing Model S — with more equipment — starts at $91,630, with shipping, after two price cuts this year totaling $15,000.  Source: Automotive News

Bartec USA Names Addition to Sales Team

Bartec USA, the Trusted Brand in TPMS, continues to expand their Field Service Team with the hiring of Jason Miller. Jason joins Bartec USA’s growing North American sales team. “We are excited to have Jason join the Bartec Team, he brings a top level of professionalism and strong work ethic that matches our existing Team” said Ed Jones, Bartec director of sales . Miller will operate as the field service representative for the Midwest. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Miller has spent more than 17 years in the Automotive industry, starting as a lot attendant before making his way up to General Manager.  Jason started his career as a Pilot for Continental Connection in Fort Lauderdale Fl. It was Jason’s most recent role where he gained valuable experience and passion for all types of vehicles. Bartec USA continues to build their North American Sales and Support Team.  With the addition of Miller, Bartec USA expands their Field Service Team to four, and covers a significant portion of the continental US. The Bartec USA Field Service Team provides direct, onsite, support and training, making good on the commitment of helping their customers to Own the Wheel Well!  Source: Aftermarket News

Speedway Motorsports Promotes Michael Hodge to CFO

Speedway Motorsports announced today that Michael Hodge has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Hodge, who previously served as the company’s Chief Accounting Officer, brings more than 15 years of financial and accounting experience with the company to his new role. As CFO of Speedway Motorsports, Hodge will be responsible for overseeing the company’s financial strategy, reporting and analysis. Hodge joined Speedway Motorsports in 2006 and has served in various financial management positions with the company. Prior to joining Speedway Motorsports, he worked as an audit and assurance manager at Deloitte, where he specialized in serving publicly traded and privately held companies in the motorsports and automotive retail industries. Hodge holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is a certified public accountant. In addition to his role at Speedway Motorsports, Hodge will also serve as CFO at Sonic Financial Corporation, where he has been an officer since 2016. Hodge also is a member of the board of directors at Sonic Automotive, Inc. since 2022. “Michael has been a key member of our finance team for many years and has played an integral role in our company’s success,” said Speedway Motorsports president and CEO Marcus Smith. “His deep understanding of our business, combined with his financial expertise and leadership skills, make him an ideal candidate to serve as our CFO. We are excited to see Michael take on his new role and to continue contributing to the growth and success of our company.” Bill Brooks, the company’s long-time CFO, will continue to serve the company in his current vice chairman and treasurer capacities, and as a member of the board of directors. Brooks has been with the company since 1983, serving in various leadership roles and has been a member of the company’s board of directors since 1995. Brooks has also been a member of the Sonic Automotive, Inc. board of directors since 1997. “This is an honor and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to serve as Speedway Motorsports’ CFO,” said Hodge. “I’m passionate about our company, team and industry. I look forward to working even more closely with Marcus, Bill and our leadership team to drive growth and create more value for our stakeholders.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Chris Anderson Appointed EVP of Elgin Industries

Elgin Industries has announced the appointment of Chris Anderson as executive vice president. Anderson, who joined Elgin in 2000, most recently was executive vice president of the Elgin World Trade operating unit. He reports to Elgin president and CEO Bill Skok. In his new role, Anderson will assume additional operating responsibility for the company’s domestic and overseas businesses. Elgin serves original equipment (OE) and aftermarket customers in nearly 60 nations from its engineering, manufacturing and distribution complex in Elgin, Illinois. The company’s brand and product portfolio includes Elgin engine and chassis components; Elgin PRO-STOCK and Elgin BLACK ICE performance parts; and Elgin Rxemedy lubricants and additives. The company also is a provider of advanced heat and cryogenic treatment services. “Under Chris’s leadership, Elgin World Trade has experienced tremendous growth, both in the range of products offered and the regions and customers we serve,” said Bill Skok. “His product expertise and customer-centric approach will serve us well as we continue to expand manufacturing operations to meet the needs of transportation, industrial, defense and other customers in North America and abroad.” Anderson resides in Geneva, Ill., with his wife, Brannon, and two children. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami (Ohio) University, Oxford, Ohio.  Source: Aftermarket News

Change in Global Management Board at FEV

Effective March 15, Markus Kersting became chief financial officer (CFO) on the global Management Board of FEV, a globally leading engineering services provider. Yvonne Thürwächter takes over the newly created position as chief people and strategy officer (CPSO). Prior to his new role, Kersting was CFO and executive vice president at FEV Europe and was responsible for the central functions. He worked for leading accounting firms as well as in various operational management and CFO positions before joining the FEV in July 2021. In his new position at FEV Group, he succeeds Jürgen Koopsingraven, who will pursue new professional challenges. “We are pleased to have Markus Kersting as an ideal match for the CFO position. At the same time, we would like to thank Jürgen Koopsingraven for his outstanding work over the past six years, during which we were able to successfully shape our global expansion and transformation course together,” said Professor Stefan Pischinger, president and CEO, FEV Group.  Thürwächter will be appointed to the FEV Group Management Board. She joined the company in 2016 and was responsible for strategy development and its implementation at FEV with great success. This also included the areas of transformation and restructuring. In her new role as chief people and strategy officer (CPSO), she is responsible for human resources, strategy and corporate projects. “Through Yvonne Thürwächter’s newly created role on FEV Group’s Management Board, we are focusing even more intensively on the areas of employee development and organizational culture,” said Professor Pischinger. “In addition, it is important to align the corporate strategy with today’s market dynamics. Yvonne Thürwächter brings a great wealth of experience in this area as well.” As successor to Markus Kersting at FEV Europe, the company was able to recruit Martin Reim. Reim has many years of governance and financial experience at an international level and, as CFO, has driven corporate expansions in previous positions, among other things. Most recently, he worked as managing director and CFO on the Group Executive Board of a global industrial group.  Source: Aftermarket News

LCI Industries Names Lillian D. Etzkorn as EVP and CFO

LCI Industries, which, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc., supplies a broad array of highly engineered components for OEMs in the recreation and transportation product markets, and the related aftermarkets of those industries, has appointed Lillian D. Etzkorn as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) effective April 17, 2023. As previously announced, Brian Hall, LCI Industries’ current executive vice president and CFO, will retire to pursue philanthropic ventures and opportunities as well as spend more time with his family. Hall will stay on in an advisory role to ensure a smooth transition. “Lillian has had an esteemed career, solidifying her financial acumen and industrial and manufacturing expertise. In her past roles, she has demonstrated her ability to create positive change and produce results, efficiently aligning internal teams to enhance profitability and cash generation. Lillian’s numerous accomplishments give us great confidence in her ability to extend our financial and operational leadership,” said Tracy D. Graham, chairman of Lippert’s board of directors. “Throughout our extensive search for Brian’s successor, Lillian time and again exhibited the qualities we believe are critical to delivering on the company’s next chapter of growth.” Prior to joining Lippert, Etzkorn was the CFO at Covia. While at Covia, she implemented best practices while advancing its financial organization. Prior to that, she had served in multiple financial leadership roles, including CFO of Shiloh Industries and CPI CARD GROUP. In addition, she has held various senior positions at publicly traded automotive companies such as Dana Holding Corp. and Ford Motor Co. Ms. Etzkorn began her career in finance at Ford and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan. “As an accomplished business leader, I want to welcome Lillian to the Lippert family. I have no doubt she will play an important role in extending our leadership position in the industry, executing our long-term strategic plan and further elevating our finance organization at the company,” said Jason Lippert, LCI Industries’ president and CEO. “I want to once again thank Brian for his tireless efforts to support Lippert over the last 10 years. He has been integral in building a strong foundation for the company, which will support long-term growth for Lippert.”  Source: Aftermarket News

FleetPride Names Kevin Weadick as CEO

FleetPride, Inc. has announced the appointment of Kevin Weadick as CEO. In a planned transition, Weadick will succeed Mike Duffy, who will serve as executive chairman and lead the board of directors. Both appointments are effective April 10, 2023. Kevin Weadick is a seasoned executive with over two decades of experience leading digital transformations, industrial product management and marketing teams, large-scale legacy system replacements, supply chains, and M&A integrations. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Kevin to FleetPride as we enter the next phase of the company’s evolution and growth,” said Duffy. “As we continue to accelerate our digital transformation, Kevin’s strong track record of success leading technology and operations functions will be critical in driving innovation, and executing our long-term growth strategy for FleetPride as we continue to lead as the nation’s largest distributor of truck and trailer parts and service in the independent heavy duty aftermarket.” “I am honored to have the opportunity to join the team at FleetPride and look forward to helping the business execute its long-term growth strategy and achieve its aspiration to keep the country running,” said Weadick. Weadick boasts a long-standing professional career. Most recently he served as President of, a subsidiary of W.W. Grainger Inc., where he more than doubled the eCommerce business to over $1B in revenue, developed an outstanding customer-focused team, and drove Zoro’s culture, which has been recognized with multiple workplace awards. Weadick previously served as V.P. Supply Chain and Marketing for Grainger Europe, where he was responsible for leading both functions. Weadick also served as V.P. Americas SAP, and V.P. Product Management for Grainger Canada. Earlier in his career, Weadick held several roles of increasing responsibility across Grainger’s North American Supply Chain.  Source: Aftermarket News

Premium Guard Appoints North America CFO

Premium Guard Inc. announced the appointment of Jonathan Williams as its North America chief financial officer. Jonathan Williams joined PGI’s leadership team after more than 20 years of experience with global and growth-oriented companies in financial leadership roles. Most notably is his recent role with Bridgestone Americas as CFO for the Commercial Tire division in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors, CFNA Audit Committee (Credit First National Association). Prior to that, Mr. Williams was part of Nissan North America in various roles. Jonathan has an MBA the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. “Jonathan is a seasoned financial executive with strong leadership skills and a proven track record of success,” said Anan Bishara, founder, and CEO of PGI. “Mr. Williams is a great addition to our leadership team where he will help grow and scale the organization across North America. Jonathan is a perfect fit to our corporate culture that prioritizes customers, innovation, and collaboration to ensure PGI is ahead of the market.” “This an incredibly exciting time to join PGI, and I am honored to be joining this admirable company,” said Williams. “I look forward to working with Anan and this wonderful PGI team as we set up the organization and processes to continue on the path of sustainable growth.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Andrew Wareing named Nissan Americas purchasing boss

Andrew Wareing, a 24-year Nissan veteran, takes over as purchasing boss for the Japanese automaker’s Americas region starting May 1. Wareing, 53, will oversee purchasing for Nissan’s operations in the region, including vehicle assembly and engine manufacturing plants in the U.S., Mexico and South America. He will also oversee supplier quality assurance, purchasing project management and supplier relations. Wareing is currently regional vice president of purchasing for Nissan in Africa, the Middle East, India, Europe and the Oceania region. The executive started his career with the automaker as a buyer at the Nissan Motor Manufacturing plant in Sunderland, England. Wareing succeeds Hiroshi Izumiyama in the role. A Nissan spokesperson was unable to share specifics about Izumiyama’s next assignment.  Source: Automotive News

Tesla’s co-founder and former tech chief Straubel returns as a board member

Tesla Inc. nominated JB Straubel, a co-founder and former senior executive, to join its board of directors as part of a broader reshaping of the carmaker’s senior management structure. Straubel would replace Hiromichi Mizuno, who won’t seek reelection, Tesla said in its proxy statement filed Thursday. The company has also named Tom Zhu, who was the driving force behind its Shanghai plant, as its senior vice president for automotive operations. The proposal to elect Straubel is one of five issues the company has asked investors to consider at its May 16 annual meeting. The proxy contains just one shareholder proposal, in contrast to the eight that investors voted on last year. That sole shareholder resolution comes from Karen Róbertsdóttir, an investor in Reykjavik, Iceland, who wants Tesla’s board of directors to prepare and publicly disclose a report on Tesla’s key-person risk. Tesla has regularly said in filings that it is “highly dependent on the services of Elon Musk,” the company’s longtime CEO, but has never disclosed plans to protect shareholders in the event he was to leave the role. Tesla urged investors to vote against the proposal, arguing it’s unnecessary and would make the company less competitive by highlighting top personnel who competitors might want to poach. The Austin, Texas-based EV maker has just four named executives, including Zhu: Musk, CFO Zachary Kirkhorn and Drew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering. Tesla’s board has eight members, the longest-tenured of which are Musk and his brother, Kimbal Musk. The other directors are Mizuno, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Joe Gebbia, James Murdoch and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson. By adding Straubel, Tesla can bolster its expertise in clean technology, the company said. Tesla’s former chief technology officer left in 2019 and founded Redwood Materials Inc., a battery-recycling and circular supply chain company in Nevada. His nomination to the board comes as Tesla seeks to make its own batteries in-house and selling a growing number of energy-storage systems to homeowners and utilities. The company didn’t give a reason for the departure of Mizuno, a United Nations special envoy for finance and sustainable development. He’s been on the board since 2020. While Musk famously doesn’t take a salary from Tesla, he’s still among the world’s top-paid CEOs thanks to an unprecedented 2018 pay package, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The remuneration deal, worth more than $50 billion, led to an explosive growth in his wealth and helped him seal his status as the second-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The pay package included 12 installments of stock awards. Each installment was tied to several distinct financial targets. Musk’s compensation has been controversial and the subject of a lawsuit by a shareholder who alleged that the board failed to exercise independence from Musk as it drew up the deal. In November, Musk testified in the trial of the case in the Delaware Court of Chancery; the judge’s decision is still pending. The executive again didn’t take home a salary in 2022, the filing said. The proxy also gives an update to the number of shares Musk has pledged as collateral for debt he’s taken on — about 238 million, or 58 percent of his total shares. That percentage is up from 52 percent of his shares as of the last time Tesla filed its annual report in August 2022, when he had about 268 million shares pledged. The filing also includes information about a change to its pledging policy, capping the loan amount that Musk can pledge. Musk has never been a full-time CEO for Tesla. He also oversees SpaceX and Twitter Inc., which he purchased for $44 billion in October, and founded the Boring Company and Neuralink Corp. The carmaker’s proxy says that Twitter is “party to certain commercial and support agreements with Tesla. Under these agreements, Twitter incurred expenses of approximately $1 million in the aggregate in 2022.”  Source: Automotive News

Blaine Brothers Announces Next Gen Company Leaders

Blaine Brothers Family of Companies announced Dean Dally, current president, will transition his current role to Tim Grabow, appointed new president of the Blaine Brothers Family of Companies. Grabow will succeed Dally and assume responsibilities effective immediately, says the company. Celebrating more than 44 years with the company, Dally worked in a variety of positions in the company prior to buying out the remaining interest and becoming the sole owner in 2006. Blaine Brothers says Dally has led the company to where it is today through company growth and acquisitions, to more than 10 locations across the Midwest and over 400 dedicated employees that keep growing the organization. Tim Grabow joined Blaine Brothers in 2001 and assumed the vice president role in 2012, overseeing sales and operations at all of the locations from 2012 to date. In addition, effective March 27, Mike Gray stepped back from his current full-time CFO responsibilities and Warren Roseborough will assume the CFO role after almost six years of working as the controller under Gray. Gray started his career with Blaine Brothers as staff accountant over 38 years ago and was promoted to controller before assuming the CFO position in 2007. Roseborough has a proven track record managing the companies’ complex accounting and financial processes. Roseborough continues to achieve improvements for the companies while leading the finance and customer service teams, according to Blaine Brothers. “Now, 8 1/2 years into the Company’s 10-Year Succession Plan, it felt like the right time to move forward with these significant role changes to allow for a complete and smooth transition for all involved,” said Dally. “It has been a blessing to have worked alongside Mike for all of these years. It is because of his total commitment to the companies that we have been able to manage growth and prosper. It has also been so rewarding to have spent this amount of time working on the succession plan. I appreciate the effort that our Leadership Team and many others have put into this process and I am very confident in the future of the companies as we continue to maintain our shared family values in everything we do.” Both Dally and Gray will continue their current roles as active members of the board. “A lot of work has been put into preserving the culture and the new leadership team has excelled in showing the values Dean built. The company will continue to sustain the family values the company was founded on,” said Grabow, “and I’m excited to see what we can do next, together, to continue to serve our customers and the future of the companies.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Tom Petersen Named Motor Supply Co. CMO

Motor Supply Co. announced it is strengthening its leadership team with the addition of Tom Petersen as its new chief marketing officer (CMO). Petersen, who joined the organization in early February, will lead the company’s marketing strategy and initiatives to increase revenue and build brand presence within the automotive aftermarket industry. Petersen brings more than 20 years of experience in strategy and innovation from his eCommerce and retail career to the Motor Supply Co. team. He previously served as vice president of merchandising at GameStop during the post-pandemic retail boom. Before his time with GameStop, he worked on leadership teams with top e-commerce giants such as Wayfair, Chewy, Zulily, and Boxycharm, driving significant revenue growth through his work in each respective company’s marketing and merchandising departments. “We are thrilled to have Tom join us,” said John Wiesehan III, president and CEO of Motor Supply Co. “We are always striving to provide our customers with the best experience technology can provide. We were seeking a world-class leader to elevate our marketing efforts – someone who understands changing markets and isn’t afraid to take new approaches to get the job done. Tom understands how important the customer is and how important it is to adapt our solutions and approach to their needs through technology. His successful track record within startups and rapidly changing business environments will give us the speed and skills needed to support our continued growth. “Motor Supply Co. is experiencing rapid growth, and my roles within previous leadership teams lend themselves to achieving success in that mode. I’m looking forward to the upward changes I see coming, and I’m confident we have the team to make that happen,” Petersen commented.  Source: Aftermarket News

Universal Technical Institute Hires Tracy Lorenz

Universal Technical Institute Inc. (UTI), a provider of transportation, skilled trades, energy, and healthcare education programs and workforce solutions, has announced the appointment of Tracy Lorenz as president of the UTI division, which is comprised of the company’s transportation, skilled trades and energy offerings. Lorenz most recently served as the president and CEO of Triumph Education, where she grew revenue dramatically during her six years leading the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Prior to that, she spent nine years at Apollo Education Group in various roles, including as president of Western International University. Lorenz has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business/Management and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management, both from Indiana University-Kelley School of Business.  Source: Aftermarket News

Global Shop Solutions Names Director of Product & Engineering

ERP software provider Global Shop Solutions announced the promotion of Trent Maynard to director of product & engineering. Prior to this promotion, Maynard served as an R&D manager and created some of Global Shop Solutions most impactful product advancements in terms of meeting customer needs and positioning the company for new growth, the company says. “Our primary focus at Global Shop Solutions has always been to simplify manufacturing for our customers,” says Dusty Alexander, president & CEO. “From Trent’s first day with us, he demonstrated a relentless attitude for finding new product advancements and technology to make our customers’ lives easier. That’s exactly the kind of person I want leading our product into the future.” “Ultimately, it’s all about making sure our product ticks all the boxes for our customers,” says Maynard. “Often they don’t know what is possible, so we have to listen and understand what they’re trying to accomplish and then figure out how the software can solve their pain points. We also want to build a product that appeals to our employees, that our engineers can enjoy working on and be proud of and that attracts top talent to Global Shop Solutions.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Continental Tire Appoints New PLT Sales Directors

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC. has appointed three new leaders in its PLT Sales department, effective April, 2023. Ron Sinclair joins Continental Tire as director of sales, distribution; Dave Deronne has been promoted to director of sales for the retail channel; Bob Jones has been promoted to director of sales for the car dealer channel. Sinclair joins Continental Tire with significant experience in the tire industry, having served in several roles over his 15 years at American Tire Distributors including vice president of marketing, SVP marketing & president Tire Pros Franchise and president of Tire Pros Franchise & VP of retail sales. He has additional experience in consulting with Cannondale Association and in marketing at Pfizer. In his new role, Sinclair will lead the team for national and regional distribution customers, as well as Continental’s GOLD Retailer Program. Deronne has been with Continental Tire for 17 years and comes with previous experience in supply chain, purchasing, and sales. He started out as a commodity manager and has served in various roles since, including senior manager of sales programs and planning and most recently as senior key account executive. Previously, Deronne spent 10 years at Delphi in purchasing. In his new role, Deronne will lead the team for the retail channel which includes regional and national retailers. Jones has been with Continental Tire for nearly 12 years and has vast experience in the sales department. Having started out as an area dealer manager, he also has previous experience at Continental Tire as the head of pricing and most recently, head of programs & planning. Prior to his time at Continental Tire, Jones spent seven years with Michelin and two years as the vice president of sales at B.Y.O. Playground. In his new role, Jones will lead a team for the car dealer channel focused on automotive dealership aftermarket business. “We are very pleased with this team of Sales Directors that we’ve assembled,” said Chris Charity, vice president of sales, Continental Tire. “Each have a tremendous background both in sales and in the tire industry and we are confident that their leadership will further strengthen our overall strategy and strong customer focus.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Stellantis hires new CFO, replacing merger architect Richard Palmer

Stellantis has hired Natalie Knight, an executive with a Dutch food retailer, as its CFO to succeed Richard Palmer, who helped orchestrate the 2021 transatlantic merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group. Knight will become the top executive based out of the automaker’s U.S. headquarters in Michigan, with “extensive travel” to Europe and other regions, the company said Wednesday. She most recently was CFO of Ahold Delhaize, which is headquartered in the Netherlands and owns grocery store chains Food Lion, Giant and Stop & Shop. Her career includes 17 years with athletic apparel retailer Adidas AG in the U.S. and Germany. Knight will take over for Palmer by July 10. Stellantis said Palmer plans to leave June 30 to ensure a smooth handover after a 20-year career with the company and its predecessors. Prior to joining Ahold Delhaize in early 2020, Knight was CFO at Arla Foods in Denmark. She also held investor relations roles at BASF and Bankgesellschaft Berlin. Knight holds degrees from the University of Arizona and Freie Universität in Berlin. “I’m delighted to have Natalie join Stellantis. She has worked across several industries in both the U.S. and Europe,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “With her experience and demonstrated business transformation leadership … she is exactly the right leader to continue accelerating Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategy. I’m convinced that she will play a strategic role in setting the new impetus and unleashing the great potential of Stellantis’ value.” Palmer, who holds a degree from the University of Warwick, started his career at PriceWaterhouse and later worked at United Technologies Corp. and General Electric Oil & Gas. Palmer joined Fiat Group in 2003 as CFO of robot maker Comau. He served as CFO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. from 2009 to 2017, was CFO of Fiat Group from 2006 and Iveco from June 2005. He was appointed CFO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2011, and was named head of business development in 2018. In January 2021, Palmer was named CFO of Stellantis, when the merger closed. He was named an Automotive News All Star in 2018.  Source: Aftermarket News

VP Racing Names Steve Ward Director of Marketing

VP Racing Fuels Inc., a global provider of performance fuels, lubricants, additives and branded retail, has announced that Steve Ward has joined VP as director of marketing. “The VP team prides itself in having star players leading every area,” said Alan Cerwick, VP’s president and CEO. “With over 30 years of marketing experience across a broad range of product categories, Steve brings an ideal background for our product and channel expansions. With his years in strategic marketing, digital marketing, and advertising, his disciplinary expertise will contribute significantly to our consumer product initiatives and revolutionary efforts in renewable race fuels.” Most recently, as director of marketing at financial services giant H&R Block, Ward led the vision and strategy for H&R Block web properties. Before this accomplishment, he led creative development and strategy for a diverse portfolio of clients at leading marketing and advertising agencies. Ward earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communications with a minor in Marketing from Missouri State University.  Source: Aftermarket News

Hyzon Motors Names 1st COO

Hyzon Motors Inc., a global supplier of zero-emission heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles, has announced that Dr. Bappa Banerjee has been named chief operating officer (COO), effective May 1, 2023. As the company’s first chief operating officer, Dr. Banerjee will oversee Hyzon Motors’ global operations, manufacturing, engineering, commercial and end-to-end supply chain. In this role, Dr. Banerjee will lead the operations team to ensure delivery of high-quality products to customers and provide strategic direction for Hyzon’s continued growth as the company develops and delivers hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles throughout its markets. “Dr. Banerjee will be a critical part of Hyzon’s leadership team as we continue working toward our mission of producing zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial vehicles,” said Hyzon CEO Parker Meeks. “His experience includes a rare combination of driving global engineering in powertrain development and implementing world-class manufacturing and operating processes across markets. Bappa brings the industry background and leadership expertise to take Hyzon fuel cell electric trucks to production and commercialization with strong global safety and quality standards, and excellent regional execution.” A seasoned expert in the heavy mobility and manufacturing industries, Dr. Banerjee has more than two decades of experience leading operations, engineering and commercial functions for global companies including GE Transportation, a Wabtec Co. and Caterpillar. Throughout his career, Dr. Banerjee has held full profit and loss responsibilities at multi-billion-dollar top-line businesses, and demonstrated a proven track record of growing sales across international markets while reducing costs through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing processes. “I have long been convinced of hydrogen’s critical role in decarbonizing transport, and Hyzon Motors is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology and transportation, working toward a clean energy future,” said Dr. Banerjee. “The opportunity to tangibly impact our lives by reducing carbon and noise emissions for our communities excites me tremendously. I look forward to joining the talented team at Hyzon and applying my industry and operational experience to help accelerate the production of zero-emission hydrogen vehicles.” Most recently, Dr. Banerjee served as Vice President, Mining Equipment at GE Transportation where he led the new technology development, design, production, and sale of electric drive propulsion systems for mining equipment, including aftermarket. This included developing battery and fuel cell electric solutions, purpose-built to meet the needs of the challenging, harsh mining environment. In this role, Dr. Banerjee oversaw the sales, marketing, and supply chain localization for global growth. Prior to his role at GE Transportation, Dr. Banerjee held progressing roles at Caterpillar in the Resource Industries Division, where he served as Worldwide Product Head of Off-Highway Trucks & Wheel Tractor Scrapers, and Facility Head for Caterpillar Remanufacturing China & Japan. Dr. Banerjee was a crucial leader in establishing a long-term strategic plan for Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services (Shanghai), developing local leadership, establishing a succession pipeline, and growing the business. Dr. Banerjee has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Binghamton University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He also earned his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Dr. Banerjee has taught as a Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and Bradley University, holds two U.S. patents and wrote a textbook in mechanics. This appointment follows the appointments Hyzon has made in recent months of CEO Parker Meeks, interim Chief Financial Officer Jiajia Wu, President of International Operations John Edgley, and President of North America Pat Griffin.  Source: Aftermarket News

Lubrication Specialties Hires Director of Marketing

Lubrication Specialties (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret, announces the addition of Bud Prenatt to the company’s marketing team. Prenatt, a product marketing leader in the heavy-duty transportation industry, joined LSI in February 2023. Formerly the product marketing manager for a Ohio based company focused on the class 3-6 truck and off-highway market segments, Prenatt will have oversight and develop a strategy to promote the Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and lubricants across multiple channels – direct, online and retail and diverse markets. Markets for the Hot Shot’s Secret brand include automotive, heavy-duty, fleet, motorsports, RV, and agriculture. Prenatt has close to twenty years of experience in sales and marketing with a proven track record of growing brands and developing new market segments to significantly improve the bottom line by increasing gross margins and working with strategic partners to reduce costs. He is experienced in working cross-functionally with OEM and OES team operations – marketing, supply chain and IT to drive sales for B2B and B2C customers. Prenatt’s expertise runs the gamut of market research, customer engagement, digital strategy and content, product research and development, Six Sigma Green Belt techniques and promotions. Prior positions also include working in technical sales in the automotive industry as well as working as a product development manager in the construction and agricultural market segments. “Hot Shot’s Secret is a brand widely known in the heavy-duty industry. Our initial product, Stiction Eliminator, was developed to reduce issues related to injectors sticking or failing in semi-trucks,” said Brett Tennar, Lubrication Specialties president. “Bud’s background fits squarely with our goals to capitalize on his heavy-duty industry knowledge and his ability to recognize unrealized potential in new markets. We are very excited to have him on board and look forward to implementing his ideas for growth.” Prenatt has an MBA from Ohio Dominican University and is currently also serving as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati where he teaches Intro to Skydiving, Managing Extreme Risks and Indoor Body Flight. He is also a professional demonstrator and team former captain for Team Fastrax leading the largest professional skydiving team in North America. In his spare time, he is restoring a 1958 Dodge Coronet and where he says he is using Hot Shot’s Secret products for preventative maintenance and improved performance. “Marketing is much like skydiving. There are extreme risks and great rewards, but you will never experience either without first knowing your audience, understanding your goal, and creating a solid plan to achieve what you set out to accomplish,” said Prenatt.  Source: Aftermarket News

Ryan Wentling Named Visteon VP of Investor Relations

Visteon Corp., a global technology company serving the mobility industry, has announced the appointment of Ryan Wentling as vice president of investor relations and treasurer, effective immediately. He succeeds Kris Doyle, who will transition to vice president of operations finance and FP&A. Wentling is responsible for managing investor relations, treasury, strategic planning and corporate development. Prior to Visteon, Wentling served in various roles at Constellium, including business unit controller and director of investor relations. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Cowen in equity research and at Deloitte. Wentling is a graduate of the University of Richmond and is a certified public accountant. Kris Doyle, who has been with Visteon since 2018, will transition to vice president of operations finance and FP&A, where he will lead the company’s global finance function supporting Visteon’s global operations. “We are pleased to welcome Ryan to Visteon and look forward to the experience and leadership he will bring to our investor relations and treasury functions,” said Jerome Rouquet, Visteon senior vice president and CFO. “We also thank Kris for his contributions and look forward to his continued leadership in his new role.”   Source: Aftermarket News

Multiple Employee Promotions Set for KYB

A number of internal promotions are scheduled to be announced by KYB Americas in the coming weeks, including two newly created positions. KYB Americas Corp. says it is committed to the growth and development of its associates, which includes promoting from within whenever possible. Ryan Dickerman, KYB’s East region sales manager, has been promoted to KYB Americas Corp. national sales manager. This newly created position will allow Dickerman to utilize his background and experience to guide the KYB sales teams in the East, Central and West regions. Dickerman has been with KYB for nearly 16 years. He started as a customer service representative in 2007 and has advanced through the organization. His KYB resume includes roles as customer service manager, territory sales manager and the most recently position of regional sales manager. In that role, Dickerman oversaw sales efforts in 23 states and Puerto Rico and managed six territorial managers. “Ryan is a bright and energetic person that is highly regarded by customers and has earned the respect of the entire KYB organization. We look forward to Ryan leading our traditional sales team in the USA market,” said Business Director Mike Fiorito. Dickerman will report to Paul Kratzer, director of sales for Canada and the U.S. “Ryan will do a great job managing our sales team.” According to Kratzer. “Ryan’s past roles at KYB have prepared him to take on the next level of responsibilities. His commitment to our customers and associates will lead him to success.” “I’m thrilled to continue my career with KYB and I look forward to exploring all this new role has to offer,” said Dickerman. A replacement for the position of East region sales manager has not yet been named. More announcements regarding KYB promotions will be forthcoming.   Source: Aftermarket News

GM nominates retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Jan Tighe to board

General Motors’ board of directors nominated retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, a cybersecurity specialist, to join the automaker’s governing body. Tighe, 60, served for more than 34 years with the Navy and the National Security Agency, retiring in 2018. She is a former deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare and director of naval intelligence. She was fleet commander for the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. 10th Fleet, as well as U.S. Cyber Command deputy director of operations. GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement that Tighe’s “vast expertise in cybersecurity and information systems will be invaluable” as the automaker continues to develop electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as expand software capabilities across all car and light-truck products. “GM’s future will be driven by a software-first approach that enables a faster cycle of innovation, an elevated experience for our customers and a more efficient enterprise,” Barra said. GM’s board elections will be held during its annual shareholder meeting June 20. Carol Stephenson, the former dean of the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario until she retired in 2013, is retiring from the board and not standing for reelection this year, GM said. “I couldn’t be more excited to join GM’s board during this momentous time,” Tighe said in a statement. “GM’s transformation — enabled by EVs, AVs and software-defined vehicles — is historic, as is the pace at which the company is executing its future.” Tighe also serves on the boards of Goldman Sachs, Huntsman Corp., IronNet Inc. and Progressive, though GM said she will retire from Progressive’s board this year.   Source: Automotive News

Peterson Manufacturing Names Director of Fleet Sales

Peterson Manufacturing has announced the hiring of Bryan Dempsey as director of fleet sales. In this new position, he will build strong relationships and strategic partnerships, assess customer needs and recommend product solutions, and drive revenue growth and customer satisfaction. Dempsey comes to Peterson with 8 years of industry experience as manager of fleet maintenance for FedEx Ground, leading a team responsible for oversight of all fleet maintenance categories nationwide. Throughout his career Dempsey has been responsible for specifying and maintaining the safest equipment possible. The company states Dempsey’s extensive knowledge of the complex challenges facing fleets and understanding of the importance of maintaining equipment to the highest safety standards will ensure the growth of Peterson’s fleet customer segment and play a pivotal role in supporting the needs of the company’s current fleet customers. “In today’s environment our customer’s needs are constantly changing. At Peterson we believe that one of the best ways to understand those needs is to have someone working with our customers who knows first-hand about their pain points and just how important it is to reduce downtime and increase efficiencies,” said Al Anderson, vice president of sales & marketing, Peterson Manufacturing. “We believe that with Bryan on board we can truly engage with our fleet customers and offer fully customizable solutions.” Dempsey was an officer in the United States Air Force prior to FedEx Ground. He holds a B.S. in manufacturing engineering from Robert Morris University in Moon Township, PA. He and his wife Sarah currently reside on their farm in Eastern Ohio.   Source: Aftermarket News

Lev Peker Named PARTS iD CEO

PARTS iD Inc., the owner and operator of, among other verticals,, a digital commerce platform for the automotive aftermarket, today announced that board member Lev Peker has assumed the role of CEO. “Lev’s proven track record of leadership in the automotive industry and in driving disruptive online businesses has been a valuable addition to our board of directors since joining last year,” said Prashant Pathak, chairman of PARTS iD. “The board and I are confident that the leadership Lev has shown in the board room will translate well to the CEO seat and will position the company for the next stage of growth.” As CEO of from January 2019 to April 2022, Peker oversaw a more than doubling of annual revenue, a nearly fourfold improvement in EBITDA and an increase in market capitalization of more than 500%. He most recently served as CEO of Carlotz Inc., a leading consignment-to-retail used vehicle marketplace, where he led a turnaround of the business and merger with Shift Technologies. Earlier in his career, he served as chief marketing officer at Adorama, a leading electronics retailer and also held senior positions at Sears Holdings Corp. and US Auto Parts. “I am incredibly honored for the opportunity to lead PARTS iD and am excited for the future of the company,” said Peker. “Our technology-driven business model presents a significant opportunity in a fractured industry and I look forward to translating that model into profitable growth.”   Source: Aftermarket News

KYB Promotes Erick Kinnunen to National Training Manager

KYB Americas Corp. says it is committed to the growth and development of its associates, which includes promoting from within whenever possible. The latest internal promotion will see Erick Kinnunen move to the newly created position of national training manager. Kinnunen, a 19-year veteran of KYB, started his career as a territory sales manager. His steady climb within the company saw him evolve through district and regional sales manager positions to his most recent role as senior business development manager. “Our goal is to continue to develop the most effective training programs in the aftermarket for our distribution partners and service provider,” said Kinnunen. “I’m excited to step into this new role to support the KYB sales team in their efforts to educate and train our customers in the importance of replacing worn shocks and struts and why KYB is the correct choice for the job.” Kinnunen’s new role will include developing the training materials used in the KYB 4Trainer mobile training vehicle, oversight of the KYB Video Training Series for Parts Pros and Service Technicians, as well as creating content and presentations used by the KYB Field Sales team. The KYB 4Trainer mobile training vehicle Kinnunen will develop training materials for. “Erick Kinnunen has served the aftermarket in sales and management positions for over 38 years,” stated KYB Director of Sales Paul Kratzer. “He’s an industry veteran and has a passion for teaching. Erick will train and support KYB’s sales team and help our customers address the challenges of selling ride control products.”   Source: Aftermarket News

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