During his 30-year career, Lloyd Ward has sold clothes dryers, soap, and even Doritos. Now, he can add used cars to the list. Two months after bolting as chairman and chief executive of slumping appliance-maker Maytag, Ward, 51, has become chairman and CEO of iMotors, an Internet car dealer.
For now, the move looks like a huge step down. At Maytag, Ward ran a $4.2 billion corporation with a 25,000-person payroll. Privately held iMotors won't disclose revenue, but the B2C venture has just 700 employees. It has big plans, however. Launched in September, 1999, iMotors sells used cars in 17 states, including California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, and aims to go national. "This will be a multibillion-dollar company," Ward vows.
Ward, who spent years at PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble, confesses that he's "an Old Economy guy." He's in good company: iMotors recently hired Cummins' chief financial officer, Kiran Patel, as CFO. And if iMotors stalls? Well, Ward knows what it's like to go through the wringer.