Reynolds and Reynolds President Ron Lamb was a salesman-turned-digital visionary who sought to reinvent the dealership software giant, turning it from a vendor of back-office functions into a company deeply embedded in every aspect of auto retailing.
Now he's gone. The Dayton, Ohio, company said Thursday that Lamb, 49, has stepped down with plans to pursue opportunities in private equity. The post will not be immediately filled, the company said.
Lamb, who had been with the company for 25 years, became president in 2010.
Reynolds is one of the largest providers of dealership management systems, including payroll, accounting, parts, inventory and service, that are critical to the day-to-day operations of auto dealership operations.
“Ron has made a significant contribution to Reynolds over the years,” Reynolds Chairman and CEO Bob Brockman said in a statement. “He’s a talented executive, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Lamb became the public face of the company after becoming president. Brockman, who had alienated many dealers with a litigious approach to the business after his much-smaller Texas company bought control of Reynolds, stepped back from the spotlight.
Lamb took inspiration from outside the automotive realm during his tenure as the company sought to redefine the future of dealership technologies.
Lamb said his model for excellence was the Walt Disney Co. He believed Reynolds, long a titan in the dealership management system market, could provide the software that would help dealers provide premier customer experiences similar to those of the famed Disney theme parks.
Lamb took Reynolds, which in his words had previously "helped dealers count their money," forced it to rewrite all of its code, and turned it into a company whose software would "help dealers make money."
Under Lamb’s lead, the company spotted opportunities where dealerships could use Reynolds technology to add transparency to consumer interactions in finance and insurance offices, to personalize service shop visits and to capitalize on largely untapped profit streams from vehicle accessories.
In the process, Reynolds sought to become the sole information technology provider for a store, offering everything from software to telephone systems.