Asbury taps Group 1 exec for CFO slot

Asbury Automotive Group has closed the search for a new CFO with the hiring of Group 1 Automotive executive Michael Welch. He will take over for interim CFO William Stax on Aug. 9. Stax will return to his role as Asbury’s corporate controller and chief accounting officer.

Welch, 46, replaces Patrick Guido, who was Asbury’s CFO for a little more than a year. Guido stepped away from his role for personal reasons June 24, the company said.

Welch is Asbury’s third CFO in the past three years. Welch, an industry veteran, has spent more than 20 years at the competing public dealership group, most recently as corporate controller.

Welch will receive an annual base salary of $550,000 and cash incentives of up to 85 percent of his base salary, Asbury said in a government filing. Once in his position, Welch also will receive shares valued at $500,000 to vest across a three-year period, a $100,000 relocation allowance and the use of a demonstrator vehicle.

Asbury CEO David Hult said in a statement that Welch’s extensive experience in auto retail will serve the company in its future goals, including its five-year plan to more than double its revenue by 2025.

“He brings with him a deep understanding of the auto retail business along with broad experience in financial management, treasury, accounting and auditing, which will prove invaluable as we continue to execute on our five-year growth plan,” Hult said.

Asbury, of Duluth, Ga., ranks No. 6 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 95,165 new vehicles in 2020. Houston-based Group 1 ranks No. 4 with retail sales of 140,221 new vehicles last year.

Automotive News