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Open Lending Names CFO Chuck Jehl as Interim CEO

Open Lending appointed its chief financial officer, Chuck Jehl, to the additional roles of chief operating officer and interim CEO after Keith Jezek resigned as CEO and board member.

This leadership change is effective immediately, with Jezek remaining available to advise the company on the transition, Open Lending said in a Monday (March 25) press release.

In the same release, Open Lending, which helps financial institutions create auto loan portfolios, said it remains on track to achieve its guidance for certified loans for the first quarter and will provide additional detail when it reports its first quarter results in May, according to the release.

“The Board is confident that Chuck is the right person to lead the Company through this interim period and to keep the Open Lending team focused on the Company’s 2024 priorities, which we believe will position Open Lending well as the industry inevitably recovers,” Jessica Buss, chairman of the board, said in the release.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Keith for providing the Company with a firm foundation for future growth and developing a deep bench of talented people,” Buss said.

Jehl has served as Open Lending’s CFO since 2020, according to the release. Before joining the company, he was with Forestar Group for 14 years, serving in a variety of roles, including chief financial officer and treasurer.

Jehl said in the release that Open Lending provides differentiated technology solutions, has a strong balance sheet with financial flexibility, and sees an exciting future.

“I’m honored to take on this role to help make this transition as seamless as possible,” Jehl said. “I love working with our outstanding team members and I am pleased to continue to engage with our valued customers, insurance carrier partners, investors and other stakeholders.”

The used auto market remains depressed due to low inventory levels, Jezek told analysts in November 2023 during Open Lending’s quarterly earnings call. At that point, inventory had declined 8% year over year and remained 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

In February, the firm launched a partner integration with Automatic, a platform that connects automotive lenders with independent used vehicle dealerships.