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Stanton to lead National Automobile Dealers Association

Group taps longtime employee and current COO to succeed retiring CEO Welch at the end of the year


Oct. 20, 2020
By Walt Williams

The National Automobile Dealers Association has reached within its own ranks to select its next CEO, announcing Tuesday it will promote COO Mike Stanton to the top spot following the retirement of current CEO Peter Welch at the end of the year.

Stanton has been COO of the Tysons, Va.-based NADA since 2018. He previously was vice president and COO of the NADA Used Car Guide before the guide was sold to analytics firm J.D. Power in 2015. Stanton left NADA to work for J.D. Power but returned in 2018. He first joined the association in 2000 and was for a time executive director of industry affairs. Before his career at NADA, Stanton was regional manager for Nissan Motor Corp.

“NADA has been very fortunate to have had a number of truly outstanding leaders over the years,” NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart said in a statement. “I am confident that under Mike Stanton’s stewardship, NADA will continue to serve dealers and support their interests with any challenge no matter how great.”

Welch announced in May he would retire from NADA after leading the organization since 2013. The association reported $99 million in revenue in its most recent tax records, but that figure includes the 2018 sale of its former headquarters building and an adjacent site for $33.7 million. NADA moved to a nearby building in which it holds a minority interest.

Stanton will begin his tenure as CEO on Jan. 1, 2021. He has an MBA in information technology from Virginia Tech.

Spencer Stuart assisted in the search.