Hertz, the car rental company that went bankrupt at the start of the pandemic, has chosen a prominent banker, Stephen M. Scherr, as its next chief executive.
Mr. Scherr, who served as chief financial officer at Goldman Sachs until the end of last year, will take over Hertz and join its board on Feb. 28, the company said in an statement on Friday.
“I am thrilled to join Hertz and lead the team as we put our customers at the center of our business,” Mr. Scherr said.
Mr. Scherr spent almost three decades at Goldman Sachs, helping steer the Wall Street powerhouse’s foray into consumer banking with the advent of its Marcus division and a credit-card partnership with Apple. He was reportedly considered for a role in the administration of Mayor Eric Adams of New York before taking on his new post.
Mr. Scherr takes over a company that was thrown into tumult by the pandemic. After amassing a mountain of debt, Hertz filed for bankruptcy in May 2020, as much of the world avoided travel as much as possible. But the quick economic recovery and a rebound in travel provided a lifeline, setting off a bidding war for the company, which emerged from bankruptcy early last summer to a red-hot market for rental cars. In October, Hertz announced a bold plan to add 100,000 Teslas to its fleet.
“Stephen is the leader Hertz needs to grow our business and to have a formidable position in the future of mobility and fleet management,” Greg O’Hara, the chair of Hertz’s board, said in the statement. “He is a proven strategist, innovator and leader with a track record of earning customer loyalty.”
Shares of Hertz, which has almost 25,000 employees worldwide, were trading higher on Friday but the stock is down more than 20 percent in the last month.
Hertz reported a stronger-than-expected profit for the third quarter, and its next quarterly report, as well as its 2021 financial results, are scheduled to be released on Feb. 23.