DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — JM Family Enterprises’ Colin Brown has named Brent Burns as the company’s next CEO. The appointment becomes effective July 1, 2018.
Burns will be responsible for all company operations, while Brown will maintain his position as chairman of the company’s board of directors. Brown will also focus on providing guidance and counsel to Burns — the same way company founder Jim Moran did when he named Brown CEO in 2003.
“Brent has a deep respect and admiration for JM Family,” Brown said. “He works tirelessly toward the success of our company and advocates for the well-being of our associates. We are in the strongest financial position in our 50 years, having just completed our fifth consecutive year of record performance and profitability. Without a doubt, I am abundantly confident in the direction JM Family is headed.”
Burns was promoted to COO in 2014 and became president last year. Prior to his current role, Burns served as JM Family’s CFO for six years and president of JM Family subsidiary World Omni Financial Corp. for seven.
Burns has worked alongside Brown since he joined the organization in 2000. He played a key role in helping the company persevere through a challenging economic crisis and has supported the company’s core business units — Southeast Toyota Distributors, JM&A Group, and Southeast Toyota Finance — in achieving the most profitable years in JM Family’s history.
“It has been my honor to work with Colin for nearly two decades, and I am humbled by the opportunity to lead JM Family and our associates into our next 50 years,” Burns said. “I am completely committed to our culture and I know that our dedicated associates will continue to be the cornerstone of our success.”
Brown joined JM Family in 1992 as vice president and general counsel. He was appointed COO in 1997 and president three years later. Brown was named CEO in January 2003, becoming the first non-Moran family member to hold the titles of president and then CEO. In 2017, Brown was appointed chairman of the board while retaining the title of CEO.
Under Brown’s leadership, the company’s sales, financial performance and associate-centric culture continued to thrive after the loss of automotive legend and founder Jim Moran in 2007. Throughout Brown’s tenure as CEO, JM Family successfully navigated the U.S. economic downturn in 2008 with its severe impact on car sales, overcame the Toyota recall controversy, and is fully prepared to adapt to a rapidly changing automotive environment, officials said.
Recently, the organization celebrated best-ever first quarter results across all of its business units.
This succession coincides with the 50th Anniversary of JM Family, a $15.1 billion diversified automotive company with more than 4,200 associates across North America that regularly ranks as one of the largest private companies in the U.S. It has been named to FORTUNE Magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For” list 20 years in a row.
“Now is the perfect time for Brent to transition into this role, continuing the celebration in the second half of this year while guiding us into the future,” said Brown. “My greatest privilege has been working alongside so many wonderful associates throughout my 26 years at JM Family. As we move forward, I am so proud to be part of our great family, and I am equally proud to have the opportunity to serve as the company’s chairman.”