Auto Trader’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer Nathan Coe is set to become the online vehicle marketing giant’s chief executive following the retirement of Trevor Mather.
An announcement made via the London Stock Exchange today (April 29) revealed that Coe will assume the role of CEO-designate with effect from May 1 and will continue to be responsible for finance until taking over the chief executive role full-time following Mather’s planned departure on March 31, 2020.
Today’s statement revealed that Jamie Warner, who is currently Auto Trader's deputy chief financial officer, will also be promoted to CFO-designate on May 1 but will not join its Board immediately.
Catherine Faiers, who is currently Auto Trader's operations director, meanwhile, will be promoted to chief operating officer at the same time. She will also join the Board.
Ed Williams, chairman of Auto Trader, said: “Trevor has made a phenomenal contribution to Auto Trader's success over the last six years.
“In addition to leading the hugely successful IPO, he has overseen a period of consistently strong financial results and shareholder returns whilst also working tirelessly to build a unique and values-led culture. The fact that we are able to promote from within to replace him, as well as the other senior roles around him, is clear testament to the strength of the team that he has developed and nurtured.
“We greatly appreciate everything that Trevor has done for the business, and the manner in which he has done it. We wish him the very best for the future.”
Williams said that Auto Trader was “extremely fortunate” to have such a “natural and outstanding replacement” for Mather in the form of Coe, who joined Auto Trader in 2007 to oversee the transition from a magazine business to being a purely digital company.
“He has been instrumental in shaping Auto Trader into one of the UK's leading digital businesses, and the Board is confident that he will be a worthy successor as CEO.”
Williams said that he was also “delighted” to welcome Faiers to the Board.
Faiers joined Auto Trader in 2017, having previously been chief operating officer at Addison Lee, and is jointly responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business, working closely alongside Coe.
Jamie Warner has been with the business since 2012 in a range of finance, meanwhile.
Williams said: “We are very lucky to have two such obvious and talented candidates internally."
Commenting on his planned departure from the Auto Trader business, Mather said: "It has been the greatest privilege of my career to be at the helm of Auto Trader.
“It's an outstanding business, and I want to thank every one of the wonderful employees who have helped to create the successful Company that it is today.
“Nathan has effectively been running the business alongside me since 2017. He is more than ready to lead the Company and I am proud and lucky to have worked with him. I look forward to supporting the team over the coming year, and to watching Auto Trader's continued success beyond that.”
Quoted in the Financial Times, analysts at AJ Bell said that the news that Mather “is to step down next March is a blow for shareholders in the car listings site”, adding that he had helped turn Auto Trader into a “truly ‘new media’ company”.
AJ Bell analysts added: “The challenge for Mr Coe will be to continue to increase earnings in a car market which appears to be softening faster than a punctured tyre.”