Longtime KAR Global leader Jim Hallett stepping down as CEO


Jim Hallett, who built Carmel-based KAR Global into one the largest public companies in Indiana over a 28-year span, will step down as chief executive April 1 and be replaced by president Peter Kelly, the company announced Tuesday afternoon.

Hallett, CEO since 2009, will remain chairman of the company’s board and become executive chairman of the company. KAR said he would continue to advise the company on strategic and customer and investor relations matters.

Kelly, 51, joined the company in 2011 when he sold KAR his 11-year-old online vehicle auction firm Openlane, which he cofounded and led as CEO.

Kelly was named KAR’s chief technology officer in 2013 and president of its digital services group in 2014. He became president in 2019.

“Peter Kelly is a pioneer who helped ignite KAR’s digital transformation almost a decade ago when he brought Openlane into our company,” said Hallett in written remarks. “Over the past several years, we’ve partnered closely to sharpen our strategy, evolve KAR’s operating model and extend the company’s leadership position in digital used vehicle marketplaces. Peter is a bold, decisive leader with a track record of building high-performing teams, and his entrepreneurial mindset makes him the perfect choice for our people and for KAR’s future. “


Hallett, 67, joined the company in 1993 as president of KAR predecessor ADESA Canada. He became CEO of ADESA in 1996 and led the company’s initial public offering in 2004.

In 2007, Hallett led the leveraged buyout of ADESA and merger with salvage auction provider Insurance Auto Auctions Inc. Hallett took the combined company public in 2009 as KAR Auction Services Inc.

Under Hallett, KAR completed the acquisition of more than 50 wholesale auctions and other businesses, expanding the company across North America and Europe and growing annual sales to nearly 6 million vehicles in 2018.

KAR announced the leadership move after markets closed. KAR shares closed at $13.99 each, down 32 cents on the day.

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3 thoughts on “Longtime KAR Global leader Jim Hallett stepping down as CEO

  1. Adesa needs to make major changes before it bleeds out! Adesa was losing money in 2019 BEFORE the Pandemic (you can research it online.) Adesa KAR haphazardly purchased multiple digital online companies in fear of not be relevant in the decades to come. Combined this has cost Adesa one billion dollars! (Openlane, Trade Rev, Backlot and others) While killing and shutting down the legacy brick and mortar live auction business that gave Adesa the cash to make these purchases. The majority of Adesa KARs competitors which are independent auto auctions across the country are having record breaking profitable years. While KAR Adesa lost over one hundred million in a single quarter and its stock price is tanking. It’s time to stop blaming the pandemic and reopen your live auctions before you have no accounts left.