By Annika Merrilees St. Louis Post-Dispatch
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Taylor says that her new job as CEO will be to marry high-tech offerings with face-to-face interactions at the rental counter.
Enterprise Holdings announced Wednesday that Chrissy Taylor will become its next CEO.
Taylor is the current president, spent years working her way up in the company, and is known locally as part of the ownership group seeking to bring a Major League Soccer team to St. Louis.
She will be only the fourth CEO in the history of the Clayton-based rental car company. She told the Post-Dispatch Wednesday that she has learned from each of her predecessors, beginning with her grandfather.
"He was the true risk-taker and entrepreneur," she said of Jack Taylor, who founded the company in 1957 in partnership with a Cadillac dealership.
The business has grown into a giant in the car rental industry.
"My dad really quietly and confidently grew the business, and could see the vision of how big it could be," she said of her father, Enterprise Executive Chairman Andy Taylor.
Taylor will take over from Pam Nicholson, who became CEO in 2013.
Nicholson, the company's first chief executive from outside of the Taylor family, announced in October that she will retire at the end of the year.
"She took our U.S. car rental company and made it global," Taylor said of Nicholson.
Looking ahead Chrissy Taylor said that her job as CEO will be to marry high-tech offerings with face-to-face interactions at the rental counter.
"Customers are telling us that they want to interact with us more on their terms, which means more control, more flexibility, more personalization," Taylor said.
She cited Enterprise's acquisition of Deem, a San Francisco-based tech firm that offers a suite of online booking and travel technology products, as an example of the company responding to its customers.
"Our industry is changing, and it's evolving, and we are right in the middle of it," Taylor said.
She said that Enterprise Holdings will stick to her grandfather's philosophy of listening to customers: "They're going to tell us what the trends are."
Family and enterprise Andy Taylor said he never told his children to work for Enterprise. He saw other business leaders who made their children take on major roles in their companies, and that it could lead to unhappiness.
"I never, ever said to Chrissy, 'You should come to work for the company,'" Andy Taylor said. "She had to make her mind up to do it."
When Chrissy Taylor was in college -- an All-American field hockey player at Miami University in Ohio -- she decided to intern at Enterprise in St. Louis.
She said her work there meant renting cars, washing cars and picking up customers.
Taylor went on to Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Management Training Program in 2000, which led her to work at several different rental locations. In 2003, she moved to the company's corporate headquarters, and oversaw regional operations throughout the country.
Taylor moved to London in 2006 to develop Enterprise's market in the U.K., Germany and Ireland. She received her executive MBA from Washington University in 2010, and joined Enterprise Holdings' Treasury group. Taylor was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2016.
Taylor is also part of the ownership group that has been awarded an MLS soccer team. The group, majority-owned by women, is the first of its kind in the league.
In 2019 she was named president of Enterprise Holdings, a title she will retain when she becomes CEO on Jan. 1.
"As a dad, I'm very, very proud," Andy Taylor said.
He added: "This is the first time that my daughter is going to report to me." Andy Taylor recalled when he worked with his own father. The pair agreed to mostly avoid talking about family matters when they were at the office.
They also said they would have disagreements, but they would never burden the company with them.
"I haven't talked about that in quite a while," he said. "But it does bring a smile to my face." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.