On May 1st, Chip Perry, who has been AutoTrader.com’s only CEO since 1997, will resign.
According to a statement, Chip Perry will be replaced by Sandy Schwartz, who will be named the president of AutoTrader Group, effective May 1st, but will also remain the president of auto auction giant Manheim. The communications, cable, and media giant, Cox Enterprises, owns both AutoTrader and Manheim.
Perry, 59, was the first employee of AutoTrader.com and its only CEO since 1997 when the company began operating. It is not known why he chose to resign and he couldn’t be reached for comments. Schwartz, 60, who is also president of Manheim, will report to Cox CEO Jimmy Hayes.
In 2010 and 2011 Chip Perry guided the company through several acquisitions and add software companies to help dealers run their businesses. The acquisitions made include VinSolutions, HomeNet Automotive and vAuto.
Although in 2011 AutoTrader.com had revenue of more than $1 billion, the company withdrew $300 million registration for an IPO in January and attracted controversy in April when it borrowed $400 million to offer its shareholders a one-time cash dividend before the registration. For 2012 the company reported revenue of $1.2 billion and Manheim reported $2.7 billion.