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Hertz Global Holdings Inc., which has been looking for a new chief executive officer since September, needs to hire former Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group CEO Scott Thompson, the “clear and obvious choice,” Jana Partners LLC said yesterday in a letter to Hertz’s board.
“We acknowledge that we have not met with any of the other candidates you may be considering, and therefore it is possible that the Board has identified a candidate who satisfies the criteria we have laid out even more fully than Mr. Thompson,” Barry Rosenstein, Jana’s managing partner, wrote in a letter today to Hertz’s board. “If so, the Board should appoint that person now. If not, it is time to appoint Mr. Thompson immediately.”
Hertz has been under pressure from activist investors, including Jana, Carl Icahn and Fir Tree Partners. Hertz reached an agreement with Icahn in September, replacing some of the company’s directors with Icahn associates.
Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Frissora stepped down for personal reasons, the company said in a statement Sept. 8. Investors had pushed for his removal, citing accounting and operational missteps.
Hertz, based in Naples, Florida, hasn’t reported financial results from the first or second quarters and has said that it can no longer rely on its past three years of financial statements. Investor discontent increased after the company withdrew its forecasts for the year in August.
The board appointed Brian P. MacDonald, head of Hertz Equipment Rental Corp., to serve as interim CEO and Linda Fayne Levinson, independent lead director, was named independent non- executive chairman.
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