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Cox Automotive names Michele Parks chief people officer

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Cox Automotive has hired Michele Parks as its next chief people officer, succeeding Janet Barnard, who is retiring.

The Atlanta-based dealership services company said Parks, who previously worked as senior vice president of HR service delivery at Cox Communications, will report to Cox Automotive President Steve Rowley.

“I’m excited that Michele chose to join us because I believe she’s the right leader to continue the evolution of the team,” Rowley said in a statement this week. “She’ll ensure that the team’s vision and capabilities continue to keep pace with our fast-moving business, which will be especially important as we continue implementing our strategic growth plan.”

Barnard, 62, an executive vice president, will retire at the end of the month, the company said in March. Barnard worked at Cox for more than 15 years, including at Cox Communications and as president of the Manheim wholesale auction unit.

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Parks has a background at Walt Disney World Resorts and Charter Communications and joined Cox in 2006, the company said.

Rowley, who succeeded Sandy Schwartz at the helm of Cox Automotive last year, told Automotive News earlier this year that the company will pursue growth as it focuses on efforts around digital acceleration and data insights.

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