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Hendrick Announces Realignment of Businesses

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 20, 2005) – In a tactical realignment of his business entities, Rick Hendrick today announced personnel changes affecting the Hendrick Automotive Group (HAG), Hendrick Motorsports and, now, the Hendrick Companies.

“Great people are by far the most valuable resource we have,” said Hendrick, chairman of HAG, Hendrick Motorsports and the Hendrick Cos.  “Regardless of job title or office location, we must be able to take advantage of our collective knowledge.  This structure will ease that process and provide an improved ability to develop leadership that will be crucial to our future success.

“Our goal is to foster growth, stability and opportunity.  By working to build a deep, multi-layered organization, we can continually benefit from one another and prosper as a whole.”

As part of the refreshed business model, Hendrick introduced longtime Automotive Group executive Jim Huzl as president and chief executive officer of Charlotte-based HAG.  In his new role, effective July 1, Huzl will oversee the direction of one of the nation’s largest privately held auto retailers with 68 franchises, 4,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in revenue.

Sharing Huzl’s former duties as HAG’s chief operating officer will be three new senior vice presidents: Tom Blocker, East Division; Kirk Heppler, West Division; and Gary Davis, who will manage retail operations support.

Huzl succeeds Jim Perkins, who will transition to become the first president and COO of the Hendrick Cos., an organization recently formed to manage strategic initiatives relative to Hendrick’s various business enterprises.  Perkins will continue to serve as a member of HAG’s partnership committee.

Bobby Rice, a trusted friend and business associate of Hendrick since 1976, was named executive vice president of the Hendrick Cos. and special adviser to the chairman.  Rice also will work in a consultative capacity with Hendrick Motorsports, which fields multiple stock-car racing teams in two different divisions of sanctioning body NASCAR.

ABOUT JIM HUZL:

James F. “Jim” Huzl, 60, joined the Hendrick Automotive Group in 1985 as vice president of finance, and in 1992 was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer.  He was appointed chief administrative officer in June 2000 and chief operating officer in November 2004.

In two decades of service with HAG, Huzl has managed financial institution relationships; directed corporate and dealership risk management initiatives; coordinated employee benefit programs; supervised corporate and dealership financial management information; and overseen investor relations.

Huzl’s responsibilities have also included human relations, information technology and internal audits, along with real estate and construction management.

A Mason City, Iowa, native, Huzl in 1968 graduated from the University of Arkansas, where he also completed two years of law curriculum.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and completed the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) before earning a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

ABOUT JIM PERKINS:

Known throughout the automotive industry as an innovative and dynamic leader, J.C. “Jim” Perkins was named president and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group in August 1997 following his spring 1996 retirement from General Motors.

As general manager of the Chevrolet Motor Division, Perkins led the manufacturer’s financial turnaround in the early 1990s.  He reinvigorated product lines with 16 new models and restored the brand’s prominence by increasing sales and vastly improving customer, employee and dealer relations.

While heading Chevrolet, Perkins also oversaw the performance of General Motors’ Motorsports Technology Group (now GM Racing), which is responsible for the make’s auto racing programs.  Chevrolet won NASCAR’s manufacturer’s championship in five of his seven seasons as general manager.

Perkins spent five years of his career (1984-1989) with Toyota Motor Sales, where he oversaw the development of the luxury car later identified as Lexus.  The Waco, Texas, native in 1987 was named senior vice president of the Lexus Division, where he directed the successful design, development and launch of Lexus.

Perkins, 70, has been recognized three times as an Automotive News “All-Star” and was inducted into the National Corvette Hall of Fame in 1999.

ABOUT BOBBY RICE:

Originally from New Bern, N.C., Robert C. “Bobby” Rice Jr. served as a certified public accountant for 31 years before retiring from Dixon Hughes PLLC in May 2005.

As a partner in Dixon Hughes, Rice founded and managed the automobile dealership practice of the North Carolina-based firm for more than 18 years.  Under his direction, the dealership practice became the largest of its kind in the United States.

For more than a decade Rice also sat on the Dixon Hughes Executive Committee and served as its chairman for six years.

Rice, 58, graduated in 1969 from the University of North Carolina with a degree in business administration.  He served in the U.S. Navy on the destroyer U.S.S. Meredith from 1969-72 before receiving a master’s degree in business administration from East Carolina University in 1973.

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