TORONTO — Gary Kalk, the founder of service technology provider Dealer-FX, has stepped aside as CEO to become executive chairman, effective immediately.
Bill Lucchini, who was hired as Dealer-FX's COO in July, succeeds Kalk. Kalk, 55, said the decision was made because the company needed someone with a track record in furthering growth.
"My expertise is the industry and the vision and not necessarily scaling and running large corporations or organizations," he said. "As the company evolved, I knew that my time in terms of being the CEO and operationally running this company wasn't going to be there forever."
Dealer-FX sells the ONE Platform, which manages the service process from vehicle check-in to preparation of a repair order for a shop technician to customers' drive-away and the next scheduled visit. A digital dashboard allows service advisers to call up and record data about a vehicle on a tablet computer during initial inspection.
The executive switch follows expansion on a number of fronts. The Toronto company said service appointments using its technology were up 64 per cent from a year earlier. Revenue has quadrupled over the past 3.5 years, the company said, without disclosing figures. New partnerships with automakers including Kia Motors America, Mitsubishi Motors of North America, Hyundai Canada and Nissan Canada help make Dealer-FX service technology available to their dealers.
Lucchini, 50, said Dealer-FX would look to scale by winning over more dealerships in the United States and Canada, where about 2,500 dealerships use its technology. He said the company would also look at building new technologies to market beyond its signature One Platform offering.
"There's quite a bit of opportunity when you think about data and analytics in this space," Lucchini said. "In terms of growth, I think we are just scratching the surface in terms of what we can do. We are in the enviable space of having low market share in a space that still has tons of opportunity."