Kelley Blue Book, a provider of new and used vehicle information and wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com, has announced that its president, Paul Johnson, has resigned from his position. Johnson will become a strategic advisor to the company. AutoTrader.com vice president Jared Rowe will assume the role president of Kelley Blue Book. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also a backer.
Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new and used vehicle information, today announces that its president, Paul Johnson, has resigned from his position effective immediately. Johnson will become a strategic advisor to the company. AutoTrader.com Vice President Jared Rowe has been named president of Kelley Blue Book. Rowe is currently vice president of product management for AutoTrader.com in Atlanta, GA. Rowe’s new role is effective immediately.
“All of us at AutoTrader.com appreciate the excellent work Paul Johnson did in leading Kelley Blue Book for more than 13 years and in bringing the company into the AutoTrader family last year. He led the transformation of Kelley Blue Book from an iconic print publication into a major force in the online auto space, and during his time with the company its revenues grew nearly sevenfold. Paul leaves a strong legacy at Kelley Blue Book. We are excited about the growth strategy he has developed for the company,” said Chip Perry, president and CEO of AutoTrader.com. Kelley Blue Book was acquired by AutoTrader.com in October 2010.
Paul Johnson stated, “I have accomplished and exceeded much of what I envisioned for Kelley Blue Book when I started in 1999. The culmination of our success and transformation was realized with the acquisition by AutoTrader.com and the future path to even greater success is clear. With this in mind, I decided the time for a transition in leadership is right and I enthusiastically support Jared and the entire Kelley Blue Book team in this next phase of growth.”
Kelley Blue Book’s new President Jared Rowe joined Autotrader.com in 2010 as vice president of product management. Before joining ATC, Rowe spent 10 years at FordDirect where he was a member of the FordDirect founding executive management team. At FordDirect Rowe assumed varying positions of responsibility including; product strategy, dealer products distribution, channel pricing, call center management, sales model development, and information technology, before being named executive vice president responsible for the re-architecture of FordDirect’s business and product strategy.
“Jared is a proven business leader who understands consumer behavior in the car-buying process and the marketing needs of auto dealers and manufacturers. Jared will focus on maintaining the company’s leadership position in the automotive research and valuation space while leading important product collaboration efforts between Kelley Blue Book and the other companies in the AutoTrader family,” said Perry.
Rowe also held positions at Autobytel in business development and at Central Atlantic Toyota Distributors as a service and parts manager. He began his career in the automotive industry as a passenger car marketing analyst for Toyota Motor Sales. Rowe is a graduate of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan. He earned his MBA at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts millions of unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates one other auto marketing brand, AutoTraderClassics.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book, HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor.