Irvine-based automotive information provider Kelley Blue Book last week named Jared Rowe to fill the position left vacant following the resignation of KBB President Paul Johnson. Rowe, previously vice president of product management for AutoTrader.com, takes on the position immediately, while Johnson will serve in a strategic advisory role. AutoTrader.com acquired Kelley Blue Book in October 2010.
Johnson explained that he had accomplished and exceeded many of the goals he had envisioned for KBB when he joined the firm in 1999. “The culmination of our success and transformation was realized with the acquisition by AutoTrader.com and the future path to even greater success is clear,” Johnson said. “With this in mind, I decided the time for a transition in leadership is right and I enthusiastically support Jared and the entire Kelley Blue Book team in this next phase of growth."
"All of us at AutoTrader.com appreciate the excellent work Paul Johnson did in leading Kelley Blue Book for more than 13 years and in bringing the company into the AutoTrader family last year. He led the transformation of Kelley Blue Book from an iconic print publication into a major force in the online auto space, and during his time with the company its revenues grew nearly sevenfold," said Chip Perry, president and CEO of AutoTrader.com. “Paul leaves a strong legacy at Kelley Blue Book. We are excited about the growth strategy he has developed for the company.”
Rowe brings with him extensive experience in the automotive sales and information industry. Before joining AutoTrader.com in 2010, he was a founding member of the executive management team at FordDirect, where he spent ten years overseeing a number of areas, including dealer products distribution, sales model development and information technology, among others. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and oversaw the company’s revamping of its business and product strategy.
"Jared is a proven business leader who understands consumer behavior in the car-buying process and the marketing needs of auto dealers and manufacturers,” Perry said. “Jared will focus on maintaining the company's leadership position in the automotive research and valuation space while leading important product collaboration efforts between Kelley Blue Book and the other companies in the AutoTrader family.”
Rowe got his start in the automotive industry working as a passenger car marketing analyst for Toyota Motor Sales, and has also held positions in business development at Autobytel, and as a service and parts manager at Central Atlantic Toyota Distributors. He holds a degree from Northwood University in Michigan and earned his MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
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