Foundation Direct welcomes Google's former head of automotive retail as its CEO - Technical.ly DC

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Feb. 11, 2020 9:56 am

Foundation Direct welcomes Google’s former head of automotive retail as its CEO

Peter Leto joins the team after serving as Google's head of industry for both the automotive retail sales and General Motors business units for 11 years.
Peter Leto, Foundation Direct’s new CEO.

Peter Leto, Foundation Direct's new CEO.

(Photo via Foundation Direct's PR Newswire press release website)

Herndon, Virginia-based Foundation Direct has welcomed another former Google executive to its leadership team.

Launched last year, the startup manages a platform to help auto dealers advertise directly to large media companies. Foundation Direct provides a platform that integrates directly into Google, YouTube, Facebook and Microsoft. The platform uses each auto dealer’s inventory, pricing strategy and incentives to automate digital advertisements. Foundation Direct was founded by former Google employees Andrew Diffenderfer and Tim Mueller; the pair helped build Google’s internal automotive retail team.

The company has now appointed Peter Leto as its new CEO. Leto joins the team after serving as Google’s head of industry for both the automotive retail sales and General Motors business units for 11 years.

“When I first joined the automotive retail space, digital marketing was confusing and time-consuming, especially for auto dealers. Implementing, optimizing, and reporting on a digital campaign was a huge undertaking that required a lot of manual work,” said Leto in a statement. “It’s an honor to be reunited with former teammates to bring this exciting new solution to the industry.”

Leto is originally from Detroit, where he currently lives, and he graduated from the University of Michigan. He started his professional career working in TV ad sales at Turner Boradcasting before joining Google in 2008. He began building Google’s automotive retail division in 2011 and during his tenure there, he also led Google to start consulting regional ad associations and automotive groups to gain regional-specific demand trends, a press release states.

This hiring news comes after the company hired Ashley Lepczyk as COO in December. She previously worked for 12 years in the automotive sector at Google. That means so far, Foundation Direct’s growing team is comprised of four former Google executives.

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