AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson leaves post

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After 19 years in the position
  • Accolades and praise for Jackson
  • Search for a successor
  • Jackson will remain as Executive Chairman at AutoNation
  • Jackson spoke at length and said 62 words

(exechange) — Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 19, 2018 — Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, leaves. As announced by AutoNation, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, Michael J. (Mike) Jackson leaves his post as chief executive officer at the automotive retailer after 19 years in the role.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 15 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 15 years.

Jackson will continue to lead the Company in his current role as Chairman, CEO and President during the succession process.

AutoNation will undertake a search for a successor.

No reason given

In the announcement, AutoNation did not explicitly explain the reason for Jackson’s move, leaving room for speculation.

Jackson will remain as Executive Chairman at AutoNation

“Mike Jackson, Chairman, CEO and President, has extended his contract with the Company as Executive Chairman,” AutoNation said.

“Jackson [is] expected to transition from Chairman, CEO and President to Executive Chairman in 2019,” the company added.

“AutoNation extends Mike Jackson’s contract through 2021 as Executive Chairman,” AutoNation further said.


AutoNation said: “On September 17, 2018, AutoNation, Inc. … and Michael J. Jackson, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company, entered into an amended employment agreement … in connection with his anticipated transition to the role of Executive Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors … in 2019.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of AutoNation, Inc. since November 2015.

In the position of CEO since 1999

Mike Jackson has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Director since September 1999, as the Company’s Chairman of the Board since January 2003, and as the Company’s President since June 2017.

He also served as the Company’s President from February 2015 until January 2017.

From October 1998 until September 1999, Jackson served as Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, a North American operating unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, a multinational automotive manufacturing company.

From April 1997 until September 1999, Jackson also served as President of Mercedes-Benz USA.

From July 1990 until March 1997, Jackson served in various capacities at Mercedes-Benz USA, including as Executive Vice President immediately prior to his appointment as President of Mercedes-Benz USA.

Jackson was also the managing partner from March 1979 to July 1990 of Euro Motorcars of Bethesda, Maryland, a regional group that owned and operated 11 automotive dealership franchises, including Mercedes-Benz and other brands of automobiles.

Since January 2018, Jackson has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

From January 2015 until December 2017, he served as the Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in January 2014, after having previously served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Miami Branch.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step down with no successor in place, it’s a sign that the move was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Mike Jackson’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 39.2018 ($).