Santander Consumer USA CEO Steps Down
Santander Consumer USA Holdings, Inc. has recently confirmed that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas G. Dundon will be stepping down after being the company’s top executive for nine years. The said resignation will take effect immediately. Nonetheless, Dundon will continue to be a member of the Santander Consumer USA Board of Directors. In addition, he shall also be retained as a senior adviser to the company.
Santander has said that Dundon is leaving his post as he goes on “to pursue new opportunities.” In his place, the Board of Directors of Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. immediately appointed Jason A. Kulas as the new Chief Executive Officer.
Kulas had joined the company back in 2007. Before he joined Santander Consumer USA, Kulas was actually an investment banker in JPMorgan who covered the company he works for now. According to the company’s SEC filing, Kulas has been Santander Consumer USA’s President since November 2013 and Chief Financial Officer since 2007.
With regard to his new appointment, Kulas has said, “I am honored by the Board’s decision to name me as Tom’s successor. Tom was pivotal in growing the Company from a local start-up to a leading, national technology-driven consumer finance business. The changes in Tom’s role at SCUSA have been amicably agreed and are unrelated to the company’s performance or regulatory standing. On behalf of the company’s management team, I thank him for his valuable contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors. This is an exciting time for the business and I look forward to working with my colleagues as we seek to grow the business in the months and years ahead.”
Meanwhile, Dundon is also very pleased with the recent appointment of Kulas to his former role. He said, “I am proud to have been part of the company’s success and fortunate to have worked with so many outstanding, driven colleagues over the years. This is a great company and with Jason Kulas at the helm, supported by our talented management team, I am confident SCUSA will become an even stronger player in the consumer finance industry.”
According to the Dallas Business Journal, Dundon, 43, is expected to be given a buyout package that is worth almost $1 billion. In fact, Santander Consumer’s parent firm, Banco Santander, will be buying Dundon’s shares of DDFS LLC (Double D Financial Services) worth $928 million, effectively increasing Banco Santander’s ownership to approximately 70%. Meanwhile, Dundon will also reportedly receive a lump sum payment of $12 million, which equates to 250% of his salary and annual bonus.
Aside from these, Dundon is also expected to receive a $1.15 million in deferred cash awards along with an additional $20.4 million in various payments for his employment to be terminated without cause. As the company has announced that Dundon will remain as a senior adviser, the report also believes that Dundon shall be retained in the company’s payroll for 12 more months with health benefits paid for 18 months.
Meanwhile, as part of the change in leadership, Santander Consumer USA’s Chief Operating Officer Jason Grubb will now become the company’s president. In the meantime, Jennifer Popp has also been named the company’s Chief Financial Officer. She has been Santander Consumer USA’s Chief Accounting Officer and Deputy Chief Financial Officer.