Chip Perry, who guided AutoTrader.com through its formative years and oversaw a series of acquisitions, will become the new president and CEO of TrueCar.com.
He replaces John Krafcik, a former Ford and Hyundai auto executive who was with TrueCar about a year before departing to head Google’s autonomous-car project.
Perry was the first employee of AutoTrader.com in 1997 and served as its CEO from then until 2013.
AutoTrader became the world’s largest online automotive marketplace, with $1.5 billion in revenue, 20,000 dealer customers, 16 million monthly unique visitors and 3,500 employees. It acquired several companies along the way, including Kelley Blue Book and vAuto.
“I’ve followed TrueCar’s progress for many years and am truly excited to be joining the company,” Perry says in a statement.
After leaving AutoTrader he became president and CEO of Atlanta-based RentPath, parent company of ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com.
“My initial focus will be on TrueCar’s dealer partners – listening to them and finding ways to serve them better,” he says.
TrueCar provides vehicle-pricing information to consumers and sells sales leads to dealers. Its dealer relations on occasion have been rocky. Some dealers and dealer associations have sued the company.
Disgruntled dealers claimed TrueCar has created a “race-to-the-bottom” by spurring dealers to undercut each other.
Perry joins TrueCar on Dec. 15, the same day founder Scott Painter formally steps down. Painter announced his departure plans in August after a poor second-quarter stock-market performance.
But third-quarter earnings improved, with revenue increasing 28% to $72.4 million.
“As founder of TrueCar, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but it’s time for a change and we have found exactly the right person for the job,” Painter says of Perry.
Perry says: “I look forward to working with the team to scale the business and generate value for all of TrueCar’s stakeholders.”