Hertz CEO Steps Down Following Electric Vehicle Pitfalls

March 20, 2024
Last year saw Hertz sell off a third of its EV fleet, taking a $245 million charge and reporting its largest quarterly loss since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following an unsuccessful foray into electric vehicle services, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has announced the departure of its chief executive officer, Stephen Scherr, reports Fortune.

Scherr has served as CEO for just over two years after three decades of working at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He joined the company several months after it came out of bankruptcy, under new owners Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management. 

After the addition of Scherr, Hertz announced plans to add 100,000 vehicles from Tesla to its fleet, which soon expanded to vehicles from Polestar and GM as well. 

However, after Tesla began cutting its prices last year, Hertz saw a dramatic decline in the resale value of the vehicles it had just acquired. Due to factors including lack of demand and expensive depreciation and repairs, the company sold off a third of its EV fleet, taking a $245 million charge and reporting its largest quarterly loss since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scherr’s successor is set to be Gil West, former COO of GM’s Cruise robotaxi unit. West was one of nine Cruise executives who were dismissed by GM following accusations from the state of California that they had willfully concealed information about their vehicles hitting and dragging a pedestrian.

West has long been sought after by Hertz’s new owners, Tom Wagner at Knighthead and Greg O’Hara at Certares. Though they previously attempted to bring him on as CEO before their acquisition of Hertz was even complete, GM was adamant about keeping him at the time.

West will officially take over Scherr’s position on March 31. In the meantime, Scherr will assist with the transition.

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