Keller Williams on Wednesday named Carl Liebert the chief executive officer of its newly created parent holding company, KWx, in a move that subsequently shifted co-founder Gary Keller from CEO of Keller Williams to executive chairman at KWx. Liebert is a 30-year veteran of a variety of industries with a wide array of experience.

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Liebert served most recently as the CEO and president of AutoNation, a publicly traded company and the country’s largest automotive retailer.

“The opportunity to work within a culture-first organization like Keller Williams is a natural fit with my personal and professional values,” Liebert said in a statement Wednesday. “Our shared passion and commitment to delivering world-class customer experiences at scale made the opportunity to learn and lead alongside Gary Keller a compelling opportunity.”

Keller Williams has the market share, the vision and leadership, and unwavering commitment to keep the agent at the center of the holistic real estate experience,” Liebert added. “I look forward to joining the team on this journey.”

Liebert was only with AutoNation for four months, before he was let go from the company and given $3.75 million in severance pay. AutoNation executive chairman Mike Jackson said Liebert was “not a good fit,” according to a report from the South Florida Sun Sentinal. 

Prior to joining AutoNation in 2019, Liebert, who has a naval background, served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for USAA’s business operations functions. The segment of the business under which Liebert worked included the financial services firm’s real estate investment companies.

At USAA, Liebert’s responsibilities included delivering an integrated digital experience, which has been a focus at Keller Williams in the past few years, as the company further invests in technology.

Liebert’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Physical Science at the U.S. Naval Academy — where he was a member of the NCAA basketball team that made the Elite 8 in 1986 — and a Master’s in Business Administration at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

After a five year stint in the U.S. Navy, Liebert began his career as a general manager with General Electric for seven years. He then moved to Circuit City for three years where he served in a regional leadership role.

In 2002, he joined The Home Depot as its executive vice president, where he served until 2006, At The Home Depot, Liebert was responsible for overseeing the sales, strategy, execution, future supply chain, global sourcing strategy and operations for more than 2,000 international stores and 250,000 employees.

From 2006 to 2013, Liebert was president and CEO of 24-Hour Fitness, where he oversaw the operations of 415 fitness clubs in the U.S. and Asia.

Outside of his professional duties, Liebert volunteers his time on the board of directors for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the Naval Academy Foundation Athletic & Scholarship Program and the Naval War College Foundation. He’s also an advisor for the Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.

Email Patrick Kearns

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