"Next Warren Buffett" Takes Control of Lauderdale Auto Retail Giant

Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, which has been battered by the recession like the rest of the auto industry, will have a majority shareholder -- ELS Investment Inc. That's Eddie Lampert, a financier who's made his billions by identifying companies who have ruined their potential through mismanagement. Lampert swoops in, demands competency, gets it, and thicker profit margins tend to follow.

So if you have a prominent management role in AutoNation, watch out. Vice President of Corporate Communications Marc Cannon says that "there won't be anything new or different," that "the board will continue to be independent," and that Mike Jackson will remain chairman and CEO.

In the meantime, check out this Business Week feature on Lampert. Dude's so slick he talked his way out of a kidnapping.


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