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
  • P2P car-sharing vs. ZipCar

    Does P2P car-sharing really improve on the ZipCar model? I don't think so.

    By Rob Go, contributor

    There are now at least three companies that have announced funding from excellent investors pursuing a P2P car sharing model: RelayRides, Getaround and Wheelz. I think there is a sense that these companies are the next evolution of ZipCar (ZIP), which has been around for a long time. But, this is a confusing case for me because I actually think that MORE

    Sep 29, 2011 1:09 PM ET
  • Zoom, zoom: Zipcar is a $1 billion company!

    No profits, no problem.

    Car-sharing service Zipcar (ZIP) is having a huge first day on the public markets, with its stock climbing 70% above its $18 per share IPO price at one point. As of last check, the shares were at around $28.58, which puts the Cambridge, Mass.-based company's market cap at a whopping $1.1 billion

    Pretty amazing for a company that booked at $14 million net loss in 2010. Apparently investors MORE

    - Apr 14, 2011 12:38 PM ET
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  • What ZipCar's IPO means for car-sharing

    Car-sharing company ZipCar (ZIP) is expected to hit the public markets later this week, after some fits and starts caused by anti-trust issues in Britain. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $618 million, were it to price its IPO at the high end of its proposed $14-$16 per share range.

    [Update: Company raised around $174.6 million in its IPO, pricing 9.7 million shares at $18 per share.]

    To get a better MORE

    - Apr 13, 2011 3:37 PM ET
  • Is Zipcar's IPO on the rocks?

    If Zipcar's IPO plans are zooming along, why did it just need to raise a bunch of private money from venture capitalists?

    Yesterday I had lunch at Henrietta's Table in Harvard Square, which is beginning to resemble an upscale Buck's of Woodside (i.e., lots of local VC diners). For a suburbanite like me – particularly one who was running late – there are two easy choices for parking: An overpriced garage MORE

    - Dec 16, 2010 9:54 AM ET
    Posted in: ,
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