Auto Trader appoints Rightmove founder Ed Williams as Chairman
18 March 2014
Auto Trader, the leading marketplace for buying and selling cars, announces the appointment of Ed Williams as its first independent Chairman. Ed founded Rightmove in 2000, helped the business become the first place where home hunters look for their next home and guided the company into the FTSE 250. He retired as Rightmove’s chief executive last year.
Tom Hall, outgoing Chairman of Auto Trader and Partner at Apax Partners, said:
“Ed’s track record at Rightmove is outstanding. We are delighted that he is bringing his experience to ensure that Auto Trader continues to be the first place for car buyers to find their next car and the first place car dealers go to in order to reach their customers.
“Having sat with Ed on the Auto Trader Board for the past three years, I am confident he will bring the perfect combination of continuity, innovation and independent thinking.”
The timing of Ed’s appointment coincides with a number of firsts for Auto Trader. 2014 will be the first year that Auto Trader is a 100% digital business. It is the first year when more than 15 million people are accessing Auto Trader every month. And it is the first year when over half of all people accessing the web-sites are doing so on mobile, with 60% of all searches conducted being on mobile devices – a figure that continues to show rapid growth on a monthly basis.
Ed Williams said:
“Ten years ago, when Rightmove was frequently described as the “Auto Trader for property”, little did I dream that I would have this opportunity to help a business that I have always hugely admired. Focused solely on our customers, there is so much we can be doing to help car buyers and car dealers alike.”
Kay Larsen/Adrian Duffield
020 7457 2020
Notes to editors:
About Auto Trader
Auto Trader is the UK’s number one motoring digital marketplace with over 15 million monthly users over desktop and mobile devices, carrying out over 159 million searches on approximately 380,000 new and used vehicles. 60% of the searches are now conducted via mobile devices, through the mobile-optimised site and apps developed for mobile and tablet.
The Auto Trader brand includes other specialist online titles including www.topmarques.co.uk, www.autotrader.co.uk/bikes, http://vans.autotrader.co.uk, http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk, http://caravans.autotrader.co.uk, http://trucks.autotrader.co.uk, http://farm.autotrader.co.uk, http://plant.autotrader.co.uk
Funds advised by Apax Partners acquired from their joint venture partner Guardian Media Group its interest, including its 50.1% equity stake, in Auto Trader, in February 2014. Apax first invested in Auto Trader business in 2007 and is also the owner of Auto Trader Canada. Tom Hall, Partner at Apax and Chairman of Auto Trader since 2007, will remain on the Board as a non-executive director.
Ed Williams first joined the Board of Auto Trader in November 2010. He retired from Rightmove Plc in April 2014 and no longer has any formal relations with that business. His appointment as Chairman of Auto Trader is effective immediately.