Steve Berrard, AutoNation’s inaugural CEO, dies at 66

Steve Berrard, who led auto retail large AutoNation Inc. right through its inception, died Monday, in keeping with a news release. He was once 66.

Berrard was once co-CEO of the Castle Lauderdale, Fla., corporate from 1996 to 1999.

Ahead of that, he was once CEO and president of the then-popular video condo chain Blockbuster. He had shut ties to the past due Florida trade multi-millionaire Wayne Huizenga, who had poured investments into Blockbuster and with whom Berrard began AutoNation.

Ahead of the pair began rolling up dealerships into the corporate that was the most important dealership team within the nation, Berrard labored as president of Huizenga Holdings Inc. — Huizenga’s funding car — and took positions with its subsidiaries from 1981 to 1987.

Berrard and Huizenga stepped down from their co-CEO roles in 1999, and AutoNation’s seek for a substitute fascinated about discovering a longtime auto trade govt who may just galvanize Wall Side road. Huizenga, who remained the corporate’s chairman, found that person in Mercedes-Benz USA chief Mike Jackson, who remains to be AutoNation’s CEO these days. Huizenga gave up the ghost in 2018.

Berrard endured as an AutoNation director for a time however shifted his focal point to running his own private investment firm.

In 2017, Berrard co-founded RumbleOn, a web-based dealer of powersport automobiles.

He in short was once meantime CFO of the Irving, Texas, corporate, then was appearing CFO, a job he held till his demise. He additionally was once at the corporate’s board of administrators.

“It’s with nice disappointment that we announce the passing of our pricey pal, Steve Berrard,” RumbleOn CEO Marshall Chesrown stated in a commentary.

Chesrown’s ties to Berrard go back to the early days of AutoNation when he bought his personal dealerships to the fledgling corporate and took an govt function operating the corporate’s used-vehicle superstores.

“On behalf of the RumbleOn circle of relatives, its Board of Administrators and control crew, we lengthen our private sympathies to Steve’s spouse, his 5 youngsters, and his circle of relatives, all of whom he deeply loved,” Chesrown’s commentary stated.

Berrard’s demise was once “sudden,” and officers from RumbleOn deliberate to shuttle to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday to fulfill with Berrard’s spouse and kids, in keeping with the discharge.

The corporate stated it deliberate to free up additional info at a later date.