Trevor Finn to retire as PDG boss

  Rupert Saunders

Pendragon has announced that its founder and CEO, Trevor Finn, is to retire from the company in the new year. In a statement to shareholders issued on Friday evening, the group said Finn had “agreed to continue to perform his role as CEO for an interim period until no later than 31 March 2019 in order to facilitate an orderly transition process”.

No successor has been planned and the statement added “the company has now commenced a formal process to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer and a further announcement will be made in due course”.

Finn began his career in auto retail as a technician but was quickly talent spotted and led the company when it was spun out of Williams Holdings in 1989. It grew rapidly during the 1990s with the acquisition first of Stratstone and then Evans Halshaw; still its main trading brands.

During the 2000s it grew further, buying both the remnants of Lex Retail Group and, after a lengthy takeover battle with Lookers, Reg Vardy. The group also expanded into Germany and the west coast of the USA. The group also owns DMS supplier, Pinewood, and a contract hire business.

More recently the shine has gone off Pendragon shares. Finn has restructured the group to focus on the used car and online business but he has been forced to issue a series of profit warnings and announced the sell-off of its US division.

Rumours of a succession issue at Pendragon have been circulating for the last couple of years and it seems unlikely that an internal candidate will be appointed. It is notable that the statement was issued late on a Friday evening when it is likely to have least effect on Pendragon shares.

Chris Chambers, non-executive chairman of Pendragon, commented: “I would like to thank Trevor for all his efforts throughout a long and successful career approaching 30 years with the company. The board fully respects Trevor’s decision and wishes him well for the future”.

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