KAR Auction Services has announced that Peter Kelly will assume the role of CEO of the company effective April 1, 2021.
Kelly has served as KAR Global’s president since 2019 and succeeds Jim Hallett who has led the company as CEO since 2009 and became Chairman in 2014, according to KAR. Hallett will become executive chairman of KAR Global and continue to advise the company on strategic and customer and investor relations matters.
Hallett will continue serving as Chairman of the KAR Global Board of Directors, with Kelly being named as a new director beginning April 1, 2021, the company said.
“Peter Kelly is a pioneer who helped ignite KAR’s digital transformation almost a decade ago when he brought OPENLANE into our company,” said Hallett. “Over the past several years, we’ve partnered closely to sharpen our strategy, evolve KAR’s operating model and extend the company’s leadership position in digital used vehicle marketplaces.”
Kelly joined KAR in 2011 through the company’s acquisition of OPENLANE where he served as co-founder, president and CEO, according to KAR. He later became chief technology officer of KAR in 2013, was named president of KAR’s digital services group in 2014, and was promoted to KAR president in 2019. In his role as president, Kelly was responsible for all KAR business units, operations and brands and oversaw the company’s historic shift to 100% digital in 2020.
Most recently, Kelly led the company’s acquisition of BacklotCars, the fastest growing dealer-to-dealer platform in the United States.
Over the coming months, Hallett and Kelly will work closely to ensure a seamless transition of management responsibilities while continuing to advance the company’s strategic priorities.
“The prospect of leading KAR further into our digital future is humbling and exciting,” said Kelly. “The used vehicle industry is continuously evolving, creating new opportunities for growth and expansion in North America and internationally. Our combination of digital capabilities and physical infrastructure is unmatched in the industry and positions us well to capture these opportunities.”
Hallett joined the company in 1993 as president of ADESA Canada. He became CEO of ADESA in 1996 and led the company’s IPO in 2004. In 2007, Hallett architected the leveraged buyout of ADESA and merger with salvage auction provider Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. Hallett took the combined company public in 2009 as KAR Auction Services, Inc. and in 2019, led the successful spin-off of IAA which generated significant value for KAR stockholders.