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Hertz Hires First CMO Since 2020 With Electric Vehicle Focus



Car rental firm, The Hertz Corporation has named Wayne Davis as its executive vice president and chief marketing officer, which will see him lead the marketing strategies for its Dollar, Thrifty and Hertz brands with a focus on the growth of electric vehicles.

Taking up the post from January 3, Davis will join from GE Appliances where he has been leading its premium Café brand. Before that, he held several roles within GE Appliances, including senior brand director for Haier & Hotpoint and commercial leader for GE Appliances’ FirstBuild innovation hub, where he led the launch of the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

At Hertz, he will be responsible for the company’s marketing, charged with driving effective brand reach and customer engagement, taking over from Laura C. Smith, who has held the role for the last two years and will continue as evp, global sales and customer experience.

Smith has filled the role in the absence of a CMO since 2020 when the company went bankrupt during the Covid-19 pandemic when travel restrictions meant there was suddenly no demand for rental cars around the world. It emerged from bankruptcy the following summer when demand picked up again following the lifting of restrictions.

According to a report from Reuters, Hertz intends to purchase up to 65,000 electric vehicles over five years from Swedish EV maker Polestar to be made available across Europe, North America and Australia.

In September, it was also reported that Hertz also intends to order up to 175,000 electric vehicles from General Motors as it moves towards a zero emissions goal.

Stephen Scherr, the chief executive of Herz, said: “Wayne’s brand-building experience and expertise in data-driven marketing analytics is a powerful combination, and I am excited about the vision he will bring to Hertz as we transform our business through electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience.”

Davis described Hertz as “an iconic brand with unlimited potential.”

He added: “I’m excited to get started with a talented marketing team to bring even more breakthrough ideas to the marketplace and connect Hertz with our consumer, corporate and rideshare customers.”

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