ATLANTA, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Cox Automotive, Inc., has appointed Mark O'Neil to the newly created position of chief operating officer. O'Neil will be responsible for the company's day-to-day operations of Cox Automotive's Software, Media, Inventory and Financial Services Groups, reporting to Sandy Schwartz, president, Cox Automotive. O'Neil was previously president of Dealertrack which was acquired by Cox Automotive last fall, and subsequently president of the Cox Automotive Software Group.
O'Neil began his career in the automotive industry in the late 1980s, serving as president of the dealer group Ertley MotorWorld. He then went on to co-found CarMax, Inc. Following that, he was president and chief operating officer of Greenlight.com, an online automotive sales website. O'Neil began serving Dealertrack in 2001 as a member of the board of directors, and in 2005 became chief executive officer. Dealertrack was acquired by Cox Automotive in October 2015. He currently serves as a director of DealerTire LLC, a privately held company, and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
"Mark is an automotive industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience integrating and operating a wide range of companies, and he has done it effectively," said Schwartz. "This move will help us to make quicker decisions and take products to market more cohesively as we help our clients thrive in an expanding and competitive marketplace."
Keith Jezek will succeed O'Neil as president of the Cox Automotive Software Group. Jezek, currently serving as president of software solutions for Cox Automotive, has been responsible for the strategic direction and overall success of the company's software division, which includes vAuto, HomeNet Automotive, Haystak, VinSolutions and XTime.
Jezek possesses more than 20 years of experience in executive management with tech firms and a successful track record of leading organizations to "hyper-growth." He has held key leadership positions with ADP, Digital Motorworks, LP, TraveLogix and co-founded vAuto with Dale Pollak, executive vice president of Cox Automotive. Under Jezek's leadership, vAuto experienced unprecedented growth in the face of significant industry challenges and made the Inc. 500 list of the nation's fastest-growing, privately held companies in America for two consecutive years. In 2010, Jezek led vAuto through its successful acquisition by what was formerly called "AutoTrader Group" (now Cox Automotive). Jezek received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA in Finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Rick Gibbs was named Cox Automotive chief product officer, a new position, with the responsibility for creating product strategy and the technology development road map that will enable Cox Automotive to go to market as a unified product company. A highly regarded and experienced product and technology executive, Gibbs' broad view of product development will allow Cox Automotive to move quickly and effectively in this vital area. Gibbs co-founded Dealer.com in 1998, which was acquired by Dealertrack Technologies in March 2014. At Dealer.com, Gibbs served as CEO and president since December 2013. Prior to that, he was the company's chief technology officer and president for three years, Gibbs is known for his strategic vision and is credited for leading the development of Dealer.com's suite of industry defining products. Since the merger with Dealertrack, Gibbs has led all aspects of product development including engineering, product strategy and managed the integration of new product and platform solutions teams. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with a focus on Software Engineering from Clarkson University.
Both Jezek and Gibbs will report to O'Neil.
"This is a time of opportunity for Cox Automotive," said O'Neil. "Since the formation of Cox Automotive, clients have been asking us for a connected experience and for products that work together seamlessly. We will keep evolving to help our clients not only compete, but thrive amid new consumer demands, compressed margins and complex technologies."
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive, Inc. is transforming the way the world buys, sells and owns cars with industry-leading digital marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the overall automotive ecosystem worldwide. Committed to open choice and dedicated to strong partnerships, the Cox Automotive family includes Manheim®, Autotrader®, Kelley Blue Book®, Dealertrack®, vAuto®, Xtime®, NextGear Capital® and a host of other brands. The global company has nearly 30,000 team members in more than 200 locations and is partner to more than 40,000 auto dealers, as well as most major automobile manufacturers, while engaging U.S. consumer car buyers with the most recognized media brands in the industry. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., an Atlanta-based company with revenues of more than $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees. Cox Enterprises' other major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Media Group. For more information about Cox Automotive, visit www.coxautoinc.com.
SOURCE Cox Automotive, Inc.