Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Chip Perry Retires as CEO of TrueCar

June 3, 2019 — After three and half years at the helm of TrueCar, Chip Perry is stepping down as CEO and president, the company announced today.

TrueCar has not named a replacement for Perry, who will continue to consult with the company.

Perry, one of the pioneers in the automotive Internet space, founded AutoTrader in 1997 while at Cox Enterprises. Under his management and an aggressive acquisition strategy, AutoTrader became the leading automotive classifieds listings company generating more than a billion dollars a year in revenue by the time he left the firm in 2013.

He joined TrueCar in December 2015, replacing company founder Scott Painter as CEO. Perry immediately began growing sales while strengthening dealer relationships that had frayed under Painter.

TrueCar has had its challenges the last several months. A change to partner USAA’s website in 2017 negatively impacted traffic and revenue last year resulting in several investor-driven lawsuits that may be consolidated into multi-district litigation status.

Meanwhile, a dealer lawsuit from 2015 for violating the Lanham Act, a federal false-advertising statute prohibiting businesses from deceptive advertising may reach trial later this year after the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York denied TrueCar’s motion for summary judgement in April.

In its most recent earnings call, management lowered its guidance for the year calling for $361 million to $374 million versus the original $374 million consensus.

The stock price dropped from a high of $14.55 last September to a low of $5.61 earlier this year. It’s rebounded to more than $6.50 as of last week but has dropped more than $.50 in early trading following today’s announcement.

TrueCar named former TripAdvisor executive Noel Watson as its new chief financial officer last week.

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