Detroit-based Ally Financial this week promoted Charlotte executive Jeffrey Brown, 41, to the CEO post to replace Michael Carpenter, who is retiring as chief executive and from the lender's board. Brown's promotion became effective immediately when it was announced this past Monday. He will be tasked with steering the lender nearly a year after it went public and two months after it exited the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as the federal bailout. This morning, Brown will address investors for the first time as CEO. Here are five things to know about Brown.
1 HE WILL BE BASED IN CHARLOTTE
Even though Ally is headquartered in Detroit, the lender says Brown will call Charlotte home base, although his work-travel schedule will probably take him outside the Queen City frequently. At the time of his promotion, Brown was already based in Charlotte, where he headed Ally's auto finance and insurance business. He will be the company's second chief executive based in Charlotte, after Al de Molina, a former chief financial officer for Bank of America. De Molina resigned from GMAC Financial Services, the name Ally used to go by, in 2009.
Brown joined Ally in 2009 as corporate treasurer. Before that, he served as Bank of America's treasurer for a year, during the period when the Charlotte-based bank was buying Merrill Lynch. According to court documents, Brown told Bank of America's chief financial officer at the time that Merrill Lynch's mounting losses should be disclosed to shareholders before they voted on the purchase of the company. Those undisclosed losses have since been the subject of costly settlements for Bank of America.
3 HE CHAIRS A BOARD AT QUEENS UNIVERSITY
Brown chairs the board of advisers for the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte, the business school named after retired Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl Jr. Brown is also a graduate of the McColl school, from which he earned an executive master's degree in business.
4 HE THINKS NEW LEADERS SHOULD HAVE AN OPEN MIND
In a video interview Queens University published on YouTube in October, Brown said he would advise new leaders to have an open mind, among other things. "Come into the situation with a very open mind," he said. "You've got to be open, willing to understand challenges, opportunities." He also said it's important for leaders to have work-life balance. "Family is very important, and you've got to be willing to balance both the personal demands along with the professional demands."
5 HIS DREAM CAR IS A PORSCHE
That's what he told me in an interview last spring.