KAR Strengthens Leadership Team

KAR Auction Services, Inc. has announced that Don Gottwald will fill the newly created position of KAR chief operating officer.

“This new structure will allow us to respond to an industry that is rapidly changing and is more complex, and enable the company’s continued growth,” said KAR CEO Jim Hallett. “This organizational shift best aligns our leadership talent for the benefit of our employees, our customers and our shareholders.”

Prior to his appointment at KAR COO, Gottwald had served as CEO of Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC), a subsidiary of KAR Auction Services, since 2009.

As COO, Gottwald will have responsibility for all KAR business units and related subsidiaries, including ADESA, Insurance Auto Auctions and AFC. He will also oversee all support functions, such as human resources, corporate development, enterprise optimization and client services. Gottwald will direct the strategic and operational leadership of these businesses as well as long-term alignment and integration enterprise wide. He will continue to report to Hallett.

In addition to Gottwald’s appointment, KAR announced the following changes that went into effect March 24:

  • Hallett to Expand Focus on Growth, Innovation and Creating Shareholder Value. KAR CEO Hallett will focus on and influence the future of KAR and the automotive remarketing industry. In addition, he will enhance relationships with customers from all of KAR’s business segments. Hallett will also identify and lead the company’s strategic growth and innovation initiatives, according to the company.
  • Hammer Promoted to AFC CEO and President. John Hammer will assume the role of CEO and President of AFC. He was promoted to AFC president and chief operating officer in 2013 and first joined the company in 2009 as chief operating officer. Hammer will continue to report to Gottwald. Prior to AFC, Hammer held senior management roles for more than a decade at various subsidiaries of GMAC Financial Services. He has also served as a general manager at AutoNation and held a management role at Mercedes Benz Credit Corp. Hammer has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry.

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