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Sonic Automotive Bolsters eCommerce Team with Former Hertz and Belk Executives, Promotes Key Executive to Lead Expansion of Omni-Channel Platform

·6-min read

Appoints Steve Wittman as Chief Digital Retail Officer and Stephen Conrad as Vice President of eCommerce; Promotes Marti Eulberg to Chief Creative Officer

Sonic Automotive, Inc. ("Sonic" or the "Company") (NYSE:SAH), a Fortune 500 Company and one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers, today announced the addition of two industry leaders to its growing eCommerce team. Steve Wittman has joined as the Company’s first Chief Digital Retail Officer and Stephen Conrad has joined as the new Vice President of eCommerce. Additionally, Sonic has appointed Marti Eulberg as Chief Creative Officer, previously the Company’s Director of Brand Management.

Wittman comes to Sonic with a strong background in marketing, most recently serving as Vice President of Global eCommerce at Hertz. He was previously at Procter & Gamble, where he served as Associate Brand Director. Wittman will report to Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive President, Jeff Dyke. As Sonic’s first Chief Digital Retail Officer, he will work closely with the executive leadership team, in addition to Retail Strategy, Brand Management, and Business Technology teammates, to drive the expansion of the Company’s online retailing platform.

"Sonic has already built an incredibly diversified automotive business with an entrepreneurial spirit and openness to new ideas," said Steve Wittman, Chief Digital Retail Officer. "I’m looking forward to working with the Sonic and EchoPark leadership teams to expand our online retail presence and deliver a best-in-class digital customer experience."

Conrad joins Sonic Automotive as Vice President of eCommerce with an extensive background in project and product management, user experience design, analytics, and site optimization. Prior to joining Sonic, he served as Director of eCommerce Digital Experience and Site Operations for Belk, Inc. Conrad is also a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served the United States in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician. Conrad will report to Wittman and work closely with the Company's operations and technology teams and vendor partners to execute on Sonic’s online retailing strategy.

"I look forward to bringing my online retail experience to Sonic and EchoPark," said Stephen Conrad, Vice President of eCommerce. "Sonic and EchoPark are building an unbelievable team as the Company embarks on this new and innovative chapter. It’s an honor to be a part of a team that is deeply committed to expanding the reach of its innovative customer solutions."

Eulberg has been a key contributor to the Sonic Automotive and EchoPark businesses since 2012. Her sales and marketing experience spans from international companies to start-ups including Fisker Automotive, Maserati, Jaguar, Volvo and BMW of North America. Additionally, Eulberg has led the brand management sector within EchoPark and has contributed to many franchise store facility development projects enabling the Company’s compliance with manufacturer brand management requirements. Eulberg will report to Jeff Dyke, President of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark, working in conjunction with the Company’s new Chief Digital Retail Officer, Steve Wittman, new Vice President of eCommerce, Stephen Conrad, and Chief Marketing Officer, Rachel Richards, to ensure the digital retailing eCommerce platform aligns with the Company’s guest experience and brand management standards.

"Working with the team at Sonic over the last eight years to bring innovative change to the industry has been a truly rewarding experience. I am looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities with this new position," says Marti Eulberg, Chief Creative Officer of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive. "As we embark on the next phase of growth, it’s an especially exciting time to lead the creative aspects of our business and continue pushing the boundaries of what customers can expect from Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive."

"It’s our pleasure to welcome Steve and Stephen to our team," said Jeff Dyke, President of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive. "We are creating a best-in-class online guest experience, just as we have done in-person at our dealerships. Our goal is to ensure car buyers can purchase a new or pre-owned vehicle in the way that suits them best - online, in-person or a hybrid of both. Steve and Stephen are both seasoned eCommerce executives who will contribute to our long-term success. We are also especially pleased to welcome Marti to our leadership team as Chief Creative Officer after eight years of service to the organization. The impact of her contributions to Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive have been felt across the entire company and especially by our customers."

Earlier this year, Sonic announced it expects to more than double its total revenue to over $20 billion by 2025. The addition of its first Chief Creative Officer, Chief Digital Retail Officer and a Vice President of eCommerce to drive online retailing strategy are major steps towards achieving this goal. The online retailing strategy is a key component of the Company’s dedication to providing an exceptional guest experience and achieving its revenue growth targets.

About Sonic Automotive

Sonic Automotive, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers. Sonic can be reached on the web at www.sonicautomotive.com.

About EchoPark Automotive

EchoPark Automotive is a growing operating segment within the Company that specializes in pre-owned vehicle sales and provides a unique guest experience unlike traditional used car stores. More information about EchoPark Automotive can be found at www.echopark.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Included herein are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding anticipated future revenue levels. There are many factors that affect management’s views about future events and trends of the Company’s business. These factors involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or trends to differ materially from management’s views, including, without limitation, economic conditions in the markets in which we operate, new and used vehicle industry sales volume, anticipated future growth in our EchoPark Segment, the success of our operational strategies, the rate and timing of overall economic expansion or contraction, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government-imposed restrictions on operations, and the risk factors described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2020 and other reports and information filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking information, except as required under federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the SEC.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201030005083/en/

Contacts

Investor Inquiries:
Heath Byrd, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (704) 566-2400
Danny Wieland, Investor Relations (704) 927-3462
ir@sonicautomotive.com

Press Inquiries:
Danielle DeVoren / Anthony Feldman
212-896-1272 / 347-487-6194
ddevoren@kcsa.com/afeldman@kcsa.com