ATLANTA — Cox Automotive names Janet Barnard as chief people officer following the retirement of longtime human resources leader Rock Anderson. In response to Barnard’s shift in responsibilities, the company announced that Grace Huang will now oversee the company’s Inventory Solutions, which includes brands such as Manheim, Ready Logistics and RMS Automotive.
“Janet’s leadership style and passion for developing people are exactly what we need to further integrate Cox Automotive teams,” said Cox Automotive President Sandy Schwartz. “Her creativity, operational expertise and outstanding industry reputation will help us solidify our place as a destination for top talent.”
In her new role, Barnard will develop the global organization’s high-performance culture and talent management program to support its vision to transform the automotive industry. She will follow Anderson’s lead, continuing to promote career opportunities and policies that advocate diversity and inclusion.
During the past three years, Barnard served as president of the company’s Inventory Solutions group. She led the transformation of its core vehicle auction business to incorporate an expanding digital and mobile strategy, a $400 million multi-year auction modernization effort, and the roll-out of an end-to-end inventory solutions strategy. Prior to joining Cox Automotive, Barnard worked at Cox Communications.
Huang succeeds Barnard as president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions. She will lead six brands that enable automotive dealers to turn inventory faster and smarter by connecting with physical auction sites, 24/7 buying and selling platforms, plus logistics and risk management services. In addition, her efforts will strengthen Cox Automotive’s position as a key player in the vehicle mobility sector that is rewriting the rules of car ownership.
“Grace is the right leader to take on this important position, as she’s been instrumental in the growth of Inventory Solutions,” said Cox Automotive COO Mark O’Neil. “She is a strategic thinker with an outstanding track record for executing initiatives that enhance our operations, team member engagement and client success.”
Huang previously served as senior vice president for Manheim Inventory Services, and was responsible for auction operations, digital services and the execution of an enhanced auction model designed to deliver greater efficiencies for clients. She also led the creation of a vehicle services strategy that positions Manheim as the integration point for numerous Cox Automotive brands.
In addition to her recent role, Huang managed strategic initiatives across the Cox family of companies for more than 10 years. She served as vice president of enterprise product planning for Cox Automotive and held senior director roles in corporate development at Cox Enterprises and corporate strategy for Cox Media Group.
Barnard and Huang start October 2 in their new roles and will report to Schwartz and O’Neil, respectively.