President and chief operating officer of Enterprise Holdings, Pamela Nicholson, has become the third chief executive in the company’s 56-year history, and the first non-family member appointed to the role.
In her new position, she will be the highest ranked woman in the entire US car rental industry and, based on company revenue, will be ranked among the top 20 female chief executives across all industries worldwide.
A 32-year veteran of the company, Nicholson will take over from Andrew C Taylor, who has held the position since 1991 and will remain engaged in the company through his role as executive chairman.
His father, Jack Taylor, founded Enterprise Holdings in St Louis, Missouri, in 1957. Today it is the world’s largest car rental company, with services including car rental and car-sharing services, commercial truck rental, corporate fleet management and retail car sales. Last year, the company was operating 1.3 million vehicles throughout the world, accounting for $15.4 billion (€11.8 billion) in revenue.
Taylor said his successor was well respected by management, the Taylor family and the larger Enterprise family.
“Pam personifies the entrepreneurial, promote-from-within culture that has always been a key part of our company’s success,” Taylor said. “She began her career with us serving customers at the rental counter, and her great work has earned her one opportunity after another.”
Nicholson joined the company fresh out of university in 1981, and was promoted through the ranks to the role of corporate vice president at Enterprise Holdings’ worldwide headquarters in 1994.
Since Nicholson’s appointment as chief operating officer in 2003, the company’s revenues have more than doubled. She has also led the acquisition and integration of the Alamo and National brands, has guided the company’s growing presence in the car-sharing market and is overseeing Enterprise’s aggressive international expansion.
For the past six years, Nicholson has been featured on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business list.