Hertz Global Holdings chairman and CEO Mark Frissora stepped down this week in response to shareholder pressure after the company revealed accounting errors and withdrew its earnings guidance. Brian MacDonald, who had been named president and CEO of Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. in June, will take over as interim CEO. The board also named Linda Fayne Levinson, who had been independent lead director, as independent non-executive chairman.
Frissora has served as Hertz CEO since 2006. Hertz cited “personal reasons” for Frissora’s departure.
Hertz has not reported financial results from the first and second quarter and has said it can no longer rely on its past three years of financial statements because of accounting errors.
The Hertz board has initiated a search process to identify a permanent CEO. The process will be led by the board’s Nominating and Governance Committee, which consists of independent directors, with the assistance of an executive search firm. The company said it will consider both internal and external candidates for Frissora’s successor.
Regarding MacDonald, Levinson said “We are fortunate to have a proven leader of Brian’s caliber and experience to step into the CEO role on an interim basis while the board conducts its search process. Since joining the company, he has hit the ground running. He is a hands-on leader, and we know that he will be actively leading the company forward executing our strategic imperatives during this period.”
Investment group Fir Tree Partners was the first to call for Frissora’s removal, later joined by other shareholders. Activist investor Carl Icahn revealed last month that he had obtained an 8.5 percent stake in Hertz, and expressed a lack of confidence in management.
Earlier this year Hertz announced plans to spin off HERC into a separate company next year. Sources close to the situation have suggested the plans could be delayed because of the company’s accounting and management issues.
Based in Naples, Fla., HERC is No. 3 on the RER 100.