ZipCar CEO Scott Griffith resigns, hours after Avis acquisition

March 15, 2013: 4:08 PM ET

story_zip_car_giZipCar CEO Scott Griffith resigns, just hours after company is acquired.

FORTUNE -- Well, that didn't take long.

Avis Budget Group (CAR) announced after market close yesterday that it had completed its $500 million acquisition of car-sharing company ZipCar, which originally was announced in early January. Today, ZipCar CEO Scott Griffith told employees that he was handing the reins over to chief operating officer Mark Norman.

The news was first reported by Scott Kirsner, via a series of tweets:


It's obviously not unusual for leadership changes after a merger, but it's a bit odd that neither Avis nor ZipCar announced that such a move was coming (such as in yesterday's press release). Instead, the news leaks out in a Friday afternoon memo. Not exactly a gallant send-off for someone who 10 years ago agreed to take over a tiny start-up, and helped it trail-blaze what is now commonly known as the "sharing economy."

Maybe Griffith wanted to walk away quietly, so as not to freak out ZipCar customers who already are a bit nervous about the big new corporate parent. But Avis could have pulled out its horns for at least a tiny bit of fanfare (you know, beyond the $500 million)...

UPDATE: Fortune has now obtained a copy of Griffith's letter to employees, which is posted below:

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  • Stop bashing the 'uncool' Avis-Zipcar deal

    Knee-jerk criticism of the Avis-Zipcar deal is misplaced.

    FORTUNE -- There seemed to be a lot of Silicon Valley hand-wringing yesterday over yesterday's announcement that Avis Budget Group (CAR) plans to buy car-sharing service Zipcar (ZIP), with some suggesting that this will lead to the needless destruction of a successful "tech disruptor."

    Let's leave aside, for a moment, that Zipcar isn't really a tech company. Or that it's not based in Silicon Valley. MORE

    - Jan 3, 2013 10:33 AM ET
  • Avis-Zipcar does not really face a 'legal roadblock'

    Nothing to see here... move along. Seriously.

    FORTUNE -- Oh my goodness. Is it possible that Avis Budget Group's (CAR) proposed $500 million deal to buy Zipcar (ZIP) won't go through, because a law firm thinks that shareholders possibly could have done better than $12.25 per share?

    Take a look at these headlines, via Techmeme:

    Has this ever happened before? I mean other than this deal announced Monday. And this other deal announced MORE

    - Jan 2, 2013 3:28 PM ET
  • VCs to score big on Zipcar sale

    Zipcar has lost value since its IPO, but its early investors will see huge returns.

    FORTUNE -- Venture capitalists could be riding away with more than $130 million in profits from their early bets on car-sharing service Zipcar (ZIP), which today agreed to be acquired by Avis Budget Group (CAR) for around $500 million in cash.

    Zipcar raised approximately $67 million from VCs between 2000 and 2010, with the largest investments coming MORE

    - Jan 2, 2013 11:32 AM ET
  • What does Hertz know that we don't?

    Hertz must do more than just dump Advantage if it wants permission to buy Dollar Thrifty.

    Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ) today resumed its pursuit of smaller auto rental rival Dollar Thrifty (DTG), with a $2.1 billion offer. The bid would provide Dollar Thrifty stockholders with $72 per share, or a 3% premium to Friday's closing price.

    Hertz originally agreed to buy Dollar Thrifty in April 2010 for $1.2 billion. Soon after, privately-held Avis MORE

    - May 9, 2011 2:24 PM ET
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