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TrueCar names Mike Darrow CEO, president

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TrueCar has named Mike Darrow president and CEO, making permanent the role he’d filled on an interim basis since last May.

Darrow, 62, will lead the Santa Monica, Calif., vehicle listings site and steer several new initiatives developed under his tenure, including new shopping tools and a rebranding campaign that launched this year. He also will have a seat on the company’s board.

“I’m extremely humbled and honored at the opportunity to lead this talented group of TrueCar employees,” Darrow said Tuesday in a statement. “I’m so proud of the way the company united to launch our new brand and consumer experience earlier this year, which was no small feat. I look forward to working with the team as we continue to innovate and deliver a modern and world-class car-buying experience that appeals to consumers and dealers alike.”

Darrow was appointed interim president and CEO in May 2019, following the retirement of then-CEO Chip Perry. Previously, Darrow was TrueCar’s executive vice president of OEM and affinity partner development and president of the company’s ALG division.

“Mike is a proven leader at TrueCar and within the automotive industry with over 30 years of experience at OEMs and other third-party automotive providers,” Christopher Claus, TrueCar’s board chairman, said in a statement. “We’re excited to start a bright, new chapter for TrueCar with Mike’s strong and steady leadership at the helm.”

Darrow will be paid a base salary of $590,000, according to his employment agreement disclosed Tuesday in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He also will be eligible to receive an annual bonus worth 100 percent of his base salary, according to the filing, along with company stock.

TrueCar rolled out a new customer-experience product this quarter, which Darrow called the first product update in at least three years following internal technology upgrades. The tool offers improved vehicle price ratings and searches, and more targeted results for shoppers, according to TrueCar. The product launch coincided with a rebranding campaign featuring a new logo and website design.

TrueCar reported a net loss of $54.9 million in 2019, with revenue of $353.9 million. The company last month said its 13-year partnership with USAA Federal Savings Bank will end at the end of the third quarter, a partnership the company said reflected roughly 29 percent of vehicles sold by dealers through the TrueCar marketplace.

TrueCar said it expects full-year revenue of $335 million to $355 million in 2020.

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