Monro Muffler Brake (Rochester, NY) has announced Brett Ponton as its next president and CEO. Ponton, an executive with more than 20 years of senior management experience in the automotive and tire service industry, was the chief executive of American Driveline Systems, parent company to AAMCO Transmissions, Cottman Transmission Systems and Global Powertrain Systems LLC.
Ponton will succeed John Van Heel, whose contract expires Oct. 1. Van Heel has been CEO and a member of Monro’s board of directors since 2012. He has been with the company for 15 years.
Monro also has announced the election of lead director Robert Mellor as independent chairman of the board. He is no stranger to Monro. Mellor was a director of the company from 2002-’07, when he resigned because of other public company board commitments. He rejoined the board in 2010 and has served as Monro’s lead independent director since 2011.
Robert Gross, Monro’s current executive chairman, plans to retire from the board and the company at the conclusion of Monro’s annual shareholder meeting Aug. 15. Gross was the company’s president and CEO from 1999 to 2012.
“Monro is very pleased to welcome Brett Ponton as its next president and CEO,” Mellor said in a statement dated June 27. “His deep industry expertise and contacts, his success running both franchise and company-operated automotive service and tire stores, and his proven leadership skills will help accelerate Monro’s successful acquisition strategy. He is the right person to lead Monro at this stage in its growth.”
Ponton will join Monro as president Aug. 1 and assume the CEO role Oct. 2. Van Heel will serve as an advisor to Monro for six months following the end of his contract.
Aside from his time as the president and CEO of American Driveline Systems, Ponton was the president and CEO of Heartland Automotive Services, the largest operator of Jiffy Lube shops in North America. Prior to Heartland, he was Asia-Pacific region managing director for Veyance Technologies. Before that, Ponton spent 16 years with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., including time as the vice president of marketing for the North America tire division.