Hertz ditches CEO who bet big on Tesla

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/19/hertz-ditches-ceo-who-bet-big-on-tesla.html


Executive: “It pays to fail in corporate America.”


They bought a bunch of EVs and didn’t buy chargers? You can’t just bring a few liters of electricity in a can when a customer returns an EV without charging.


Stephen Scherr, who came to the company two years ago after nearly 30 years at Goldman Sachs [will be] replaced by Gil West, former chief operating officer of Delta Air Lines and General Motors’ Cruise unit […]

And they think this is an improvement?

Shall we start a pool on how long new guy will last?


Baby steps. The car rental company is making a very bold move in hiring a CEO who presumably knows something about fleet logistics and operations, replacing a Goldman Sachs vampire squid who apparently only knows how to drain a company of its money.

Not that West will last long. They’ll eventually discover that a CEO whose last job was running a disastrous self-driving taxi business might not have been a great choice

Really, this situation encapsulates a number of chronic problems with American business executives, which results in a constant stream of incompetent ones failing upwards and then sideways.


This was a major DUH mistake. You’re a temp visitor to a town and you have to hunt down electric charging stations?? It’s probably hard enough for the people who live there full time. Go all hybrid if you want to tout your environmental leanings.


Adding chargers to the rental locations would have cut into the profit margin.


I don’t understand the reference to high maintenance costs for an electric car. And the friends I have with Teslas don’t have high maintenance costs. My electric Fiat has had close to zero maintentance costs (windshield wipers, tires).

Also, the article I read about this elsewhere (I am looking but failing to find the link, apologies) had Hertz stating their loss was because the resale value of the teslas was lower than they predicted/gambled. Huh - flood the market with a used car and the resale price goes down?

This all seems to me that the gambling on resale was the problem, not the actual cars they were renting out.

The maintenance costs a rental company deals with more than average consumers do is repairing damage from dents and other cosmetic touch ups. Tesla have no in-house body repair so they outsource everything to a third party which increases costs. Also towing fees are higher because a flat bed is needed, but I expect those costs are passed on to the renter.

Otherwise yes Tesla maintenance costs are minimal.


Plus, EVs eat tires because of the weight of the batteries, and tires ain’t cheap.


Hertz could have saved on maintenance costs if they would have chose Chevrolet Bolt over Tesla.


Ours is still on its factory original tyres at around 75,000 miles. We also don’t drive it like an F1 racecar.


Of course, your mileage may vary. I worked at a tire manufacturer until last year, and great strides are definitely being made in improving durability.

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I was feeling a little sorry for him until I saw that compensation.


astronomical maintenance and repair costs

This needs some more context. Which is: Tesla refused to give them bulk discounts on repair parts (while other care manufacturers do this). It’s not that electric cars have higher repair costs.

Another noteworth piece of info: Tesla cars were in a higher rate of accidents because their acceleration is a lot faster than what people are used to in a gas car.

I don’t particularly love Tesla, the company but do like EVs. The difference that context makes takes it from “EVs are bad because they’re expensive to own” (which a family member said to me, citing the original news article that talked about Hertz selling the teslas) to “EVs are way more performant to existing gas cars, and the CEO should have negotiated bulk part pricing up front.”

Oh, you can still feel sorry for him. With a W-2 like that he’ll probably pay almost $2,000 in taxes! :rage:


I don’t even feel the tiniest bit sad that Hertz lost extra money on the deal by having to inflate his golden parachute. Hiring a former Goldman-Sachs exec is like hiring a wild jackal to babysit your kids. Everyone knows he’s only there to feed himself, regardless of what happens to your company.

You’d have to have extremely delusional and stupid board to sign him to a contract. If I were a shareholder staring at those easily avoidable losses, I’d let the very expensive lesson sink in, and demand the entire board be replaced.


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