The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Zag Names Brenner to Head Consumer Initiatives, Appoints Innovators from Outside Auto Industry


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. October 14, 2008: Zag, the online no-haggle car-buying platform that connects ready buyers with certified dealers through trusted affinity groups, today announced it has promoted Business Development head Bernie Brenner to Executive Vice President in charge of its Consumer initiatives. At the same time, the company appointed three top executives from outside the automotive industry to head key functions at the company and expanded its business development team.

Brenner is a highly regarded entrepreneur who in the early 1990s founded 1-800-CARSEARCH and in 1997 started PromiseMark, which is widely regarded as the innovator of identity theft protection services. Brenner is also considered a pioneer in affinity relationship marketing. Before joining Zag in 2005 as head of Business Development, Brenner was a senior executive with Carfax, the most trusted provider of vehicle history information. At Carfax, he ran business development and was responsible for Carfaxs strategic partnerships with OEMs and online marketing partners. In his new role, Brenner will be responsible for all Business and Product Development, Marketing, Partner Relationship Management and Zags customer satisfaction initiatives.

The consumer wants a better car-buying experience, and Zag is leading the charge with transparent pricing that lets buyers walk into the dealership with a great price already secured, said Scott Painter, Zag founder and CEO. Weve built a platform that offers a brand new way to buy a car. All of these talented leaders are passionate about introducing new solutions to the marketplace. Each brings vast knowledge and experience to our fast-growing business.

Zag also said it has named David Pributsky as Vice President of Partner Development. In his new role, Pributsky will head the Partner Development Group, which is responsible for partner relationships and revenue performance. Pributsky joined Zag in 2006 from eVox Productions, a global automotive production studio, stock image and video distribution company, where he served as General Manager and was responsible for developing strategic relationships with automotive data distributors, research portals and OEMs. He currently serves as a member of the companys advisory board.

Previously, Pributsky headed Malldecker Media, a San Francisco-based Web design and marketing start-up whose clients included AOL, Time Warner, SEGA, Berkeley Systems and Red Ink. He received a B.S. in business and decision sciences from George Mason University.

Other appointments include:

Stewart Easterby, Vice President of Sales. Easterby joins Zag after more than eight years with Yahoo!, where he most recently served as Vice President of Account Management. At Yahoo, Easterby successfully grew and integrated sales support teams, streamlined operations, improved advertiser satisfaction, rolled out new advertiser products and implemented talent management programs. The former U.S. Navy SEAL previously was director of Finance and Administration for the venture capital firm Sorrento Associates, Inc.. He earned a B.S. in finance at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a B.A.S. in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in finance/strategy from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Bill Lepler, Vice President of Business Intelligence. Lepler brings a diverse background in marketing and online analytics, cross-channel direct marketing database integration, paid search, email and product management at or on behalf of such established companies as Limited Brands, OgilvyOne, J. Crew, Showtime Networks and HBO, and start-ups including Digital Impact, Yahoo! Search Marketing, inQ Inc. and Thoughtware Worldwide. Most recently, he was a consultant with Brandspeak LLC. He holds a B.M. degree in harpsichord and piano from Oberlin College, an M.M. in music theory from Yale University, and an M.B.A. degree in marketing and econometrics from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Star Marcus, Vice President of Human Resources. Over the past 22 years, Marcus has managed human resources for a variety of growing companies in fast-changing industries. Most recently, she was vice president of human resources with Faith Communications. Prior to that, she held management positions at Thomson Elite and Vertel Corporation and was an H.R. generalist with K&F Commercial Properties and Kreiss Enterprises. She received a B.S. degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

The recent appointments closely follow the hiring of former Trilogy Software executive Chris Porch as president and chief operating officer of Zag. Porch previously headed a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Trilogy that designed and produced FordDirect.com, the first OEM and dealer-backed consumer retail e-commerce portal for direct to consumer vehicle sales.