KAR executive chairman Jim Hallett retires; new board chair named
KAR Global executive chairman Jim Hallett is retiring, the company said Friday.
Hallett, also a philanthropist, hockey team owner and award-winning industry executive, has been with the company in various eras, iterations and roles for more than 25 years. He steps down from his positions as executive chairman and chairman of the board of directors but will keep his seat on the board.
Michael Kestner, lead independent director since 2019, becomes chairman of KAR’s board on Saturday.
KAR CEO Peter Kelly continues in his current role.
“I am so proud of what we have accomplished at KAR, and it has been a true honor to serve our company, customers and industry over the last 47 years,” Hallett said in a news release. “Each day I was humbled by the passion, energy and grit of our employees, and grateful for their dedication to our customers.
“Together, we transformed KAR’s brick-and-mortar business into a global digital marketplace for used vehicles. I have never been more confident in KAR’s strategy and leadership, especially with Peter at the helm — aside from being a great leader, he’s the best digital mind in our industry,” he said.
Kelly succeeded Hallett as KAR CEO on April 1, 2021.
Hallett, who had been CEO since 2009 and KAR’s chairman since 2014, has been the company’s executive chairman the past two years and served in an advisory role.
Hallett’s time with the company dates back to 1993, when he joined as ADESA Canada’s president. Three years later, he was named ADESA’s president.
He headed up the auction company’s initial public offering in 2004, before leading ADESA’s leveraged buyout and merger with Insurance Auto Auctions in 2007.
That combined company went public in 2009 as KAR Auction Services, Inc., eventually becoming KAR Global several years later.
During Hallett’s time as leader of the company, KAR purchased more than 50 wholesale auctions and other businesses and extended its reach across North America and into Europe.
KAR sold its ADESA U.S. auction business to Carvana in 2022; IAA was spun off in 2019.
“Jim’s bold vision and dedicated leadership positively shaped our company and our industry for more than four decades,” Kelly said in the release. “From safety to philanthropy to digital transformation, Jim challenged everyone around him to think differently and pursue bold, new ideas.
“At KAR, Jim catalyzed our entrepreneurial spirit and culture of innovation, and set the vision for the digital leader we have become. I am very fortunate to call Jim a friend and a mentor, and all of us at KAR wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement.”