A New Broom: Hertz Replaces CEO and 3 Board Members

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Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) announced late Tuesday that CEO John Tague will retire effective January 2, 2017. Kathryn Marinello, who has served as CEO of two companies and filled a variety of senior positions at General Electric, has been named to replace Tague.

Marinello also will replace Tague on the boards of directors of both Hertz Global and Hertz Corp. Three other board members — Non-Executive Chair Linda Fayne Levinson, Compensation Committee Chair Carl T. Berquist and Financing Committee Chair Michael J. Durham — “have chosen” to leave the boards on January 2. Following their departure, the companies’ boards will comprise seven directors, of whom six are defined as independent.

The change marks the third CEO for Hertz in the past two years. Tague replaced Mark Frissora, who had held the post for eight years, in 2014. The company’s largest shareholder, Carl Icahn, got board representation in September 2014, the same time that Frissora resigned for “personal reasons.”

Of Marinello’s appointment Icahn said:

I am excited about Hertz and its prospects with Kathy at the helm.  Kathy has a history as a proven CEO and I believe she is the right person to lead Hertz as we move forward. Her consistent track record of successes in consumer and financial services, as well as technology businesses, is impressive.  She was extremely well-regarded at GE and successfully turned around Ceridian and Stream.

The new non-executive chairman, Henry Keizer, said:

Kathy is a tireless leader whose record shows a relentless focus on execution and high performance, having led a number of complex businesses and turnaround situations.  Her financial acumen and hands-on operating style will serve her well as she focuses on the strategic priorities facing Hertz today.  Kathy is a world class leader who understands how to create shareholder value.

Investors are less pleased, taking the stock down about 5% Wednesday morning to $23.86, in a 52-week range of $6.95 to $53.14. The consensus price target is $30.86.