Tech-industry veteran Joe Pistell has resigned from Cars.com as the firm’s head of marketplace. He’s returning to run his own business, which is what he was doing before joining Cars.com more than three years ago.
“I’ll have my hands in anything that lights up my fire,” Pistell shared in a LinkedIn post. “I’ll be sharing automotive strategic thoughts and ideas … . I’m back to my happy place, the lab.”
Pistell, with experience in both digital technology and car mechanics, was recruited at Cars.com as “the voice of the customer on the dealer and the shopper side in driving sales and delivering a better customer experience—building a bridge between stakeholders,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
He devised systemic improvements to Cars.com’s customer/dealer experience, provided strategic and tactical leadership in automotive marketing, and worked at a senior level to “drive innovation, change and continuous improvement across all aspects of the business.”
Before joining Cars.com, Pistell worked for a year and a half on his own business, JC Auto Magic, helping digital marketing firms design products for car dealerships.
His other automotive experience includes two stints at software vendor Dealer.com, including as its senior director of product performance & innovation. During his five years in that role, Dealer.com was acquired by DealerTrack, and then both firms were acquired by Cox Automotive.
Pistell had also worked as a marketing director for two East Coast dealerships, including the Used Car King, which has since been acquired by Sonic Automotive. Pistell started his career as co-founder of an automotive custom shop that grew out of a garage behind a private home.
Outside the auto industry, Pistell had created an online community of stock traders and he later developed and deployed his own stock-trading algorithm.