Hertz taps ex-Goldman Sachs finance chief Stephen Scherr as CEO
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. named Stephen Scherr, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. finance chief, as its next CEO.
Scherr will take over from Mark Fields, the former Ford Motor Co. chief who has been serving as interim CEO of the rental-car giant, Hertz said in a statement Friday. Scherr, who will assume his role at the end of February, spent three decades at Goldman, departing as CFO at the end of last year.
Scherr comes in at a pivotal time when the rental car is beginning to electrify its fleet. Just months after emerging from bankruptcy, Hertz in October announced a blockbuster $4.2 billion deal to buy 100,000 Tesla Inc. cars, looking to tap into the growing interest in electric vehicles while aligning itself with the industry’s leader. The electrification plan will eventually encompass almost all of Hertz’s half-million cars and trucks worldwide.
Shares of Hertz were up 3.3 percent to $19.89 in early trading Friday.
“This is an opportunity not only to fix the business, but also to employ a strategy that allows us to play a central role in development of the modern mobility industry,” Fields said at the time. “One of our objectives is to lead in the adoption of electric vehicles.”
Electrification is the latest turn in Hertz’s wild journey through the COVID-19 pandemic. When demand for rental cars collapsed in early 2020, the company, whose brands also include Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly, was forced to file for protection from creditors and began liquidating its fleet. By last year, thanks to a sharp rebound in travel and the global shortage of new cars, Hertz was thriving.
The biggest U.S. car-rental company after Enterprise Holdings Inc., Hertz is also making a broad revamp of its business around mobility and digitization. One component of that will be expedited rental bookings on the Hertz app.
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