Avis Names New CEO and Executive Chairman to Guide COVID-19 Recovery

George PaulExecutive Moves

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Avis Budget Group, a mainstay of the vehicle rental industry, announced that Joe Ferraro will serve as the company’s new CEO after spending six month as the company's interim CEO.

Avis desktop

The company also announced that Bernardo Hees, who has been serving as Independent Chairman of the Board, has been appointed as Executive Chairman.

Ferraro and Hees will focus on strategy, finance, and digital mobility initiatives to help improve the company’s performance.

Ferraro is a long-time Avis Budget Group executive, with over 40 years of experience with the company. Prior to his stint as interim CEO, he spent five years as President of Avis Budget’s Americas division where he oversaw Avis, Budget, Payless, and Zipcar brands in North and South America.

In a press release, Hees said, “Joe’s collaborative leadership style and decisive strategic actions, including right-sizing our business to meet current demand, strengthening our balance sheet, and inspiring our team, have enabled Avis Budget Group to confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to innovate and serve our customers.”

Ferraro said, “Over the past few months, our ability to act quickly to reposition the business for success is a testament to the outstanding work and dedication of all our employees. I am confident we have the team and tools to provide our customers with innovative, safe and quality service as the travel industry begins to reopen.”

The two new leaders will need to work as a team in order to guide the company through the coronavirus pandemic, which has already spurred the bankruptcy of rival rental agency Hertz. Avis Budget Group posted a net loss of $158 million in the first quarter of 2020 and has canceled 80% of incoming US rental vehicle orders for the rest of the year.


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