CDK Announces Management Transition

CDK Announces Management Transition

December 11, 2015 — CDK Global announced today that CEO and President Steve Anenen will retire by the end of the company’s fiscal year on June 30, 2016. Brian MacDonald, who was named to the board of directors in June, will become president on January 1 and will take over the CEO position once Anenen retires.

The Banks Report speculated in early July about the possibility of MacDonald replacing Anenen, who has been with CDK for 40 years. Under his leadership, he oversaw ADP’s spin off of its Dealer Services Group and transformation into CDK Global in 2014. Anenen also has been responsible for the implementation of the company’s ongoing financial transformation this year which has led to a doubling of the stock price within a year of its going public.

Anenen was named president of the Dealer Services group in 2004. While there, he expanded the group’s global focus beyond Europe and into Asian countries. He also led the effort as large dealer groups began consolidating their management systems onto single platforms.

MacDonald has a history of leading complicated transformation initiatives at ETP HoldCo Corp. and Sunoco. Most recently, he served as interim President and CEO of the Hertz Rental Equipment Corp. for 11 months. He was expected to lead a spinoff of the rental equipment division but accounting irregularities in the parent company that surfaced following a big hit resulting from the numerous automotive recalls in 2014 delayed the plan.

Following his resignation from HERC in May, CDK appointed MacDonald to the board in June of this year. He takes over the management at CDK in the middle of its transformation plan that it announced earlier this year to drive margin growth. The company’s strategy is being driven by activist investors that became involved soon after its spinoff into a publicly traded company.

In addition to the remaking of the company financially, speculation is rampant on the Street that it may be sold in the next several months, a possibility TBR has written about significantly over the last year. Our guess is that a sale likely won’t happen until the fourth quarter of 2016  when the two-year moratorium following its spinoff expires.

TBR’s previous analysis of CDK is available to premium subscribers HERE.

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