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BREAKING NEWS: Dan Young Out as CARSTAR President; Company Moves to Merge U.S., Canadian Operations

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Feb. 29, 2016—Brand president Dan Young has left CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, the company confirmed to FenderBender Monday morning. And with Young’s departure, Driven Brands Paint & Collision group president Jose Costa said that CARSTAR’s U.S. and Canadian operations will merge under the leadership of CARSTAR Canada president Michael Macaluso.

Macaluso will hold the top executive position for all of CARSTAR’s North American operations on an interim, six-month basis, Costa said. Following that period, Driven Brands will reevaluate and determine the best course moving forward.

Costa emphasized, though, that he envisions Macaluso holding that leadership spot on a permanent basis.

“Before [Driven Brands] bought CARSTAR, we looked at both the Canadian and U.S. businesses for over six months,” Costa said. “The leadership qualities that Michael Macaluso has are absolutely phenomenal.”

Costa said that Young’s decision came prior to CARSTAR leadership meetings held Thursday at the Driven Brands corporate offices in Charlotte, N.C. The decision, Costa said, was entirely Young’s, and prior to that conversation, Costa expected Young to play a large role in the U.S.-Canadian merger that was likely to have taken place “12 to 24 months down the road,” Costa said. Young’s departure rapidly sped up that timeline.

“It took us all by surprise,” Costa said of Young’s decision. “I and the entire Driven Brands team think very highly of Dan. He’s an incredible businessman and wonderful human being.”

Young took over as CARSTAR's lead executive in November following the company's acquisition by Driven Brands and the ouster of former CEO David Byers. Before that, Young served as the company's vice president of insurance relations since 2005.

The merger of CARSTAR’s North American operations had already been underway on a corporate level, Costa said, as the two already share financial and accounting services at Driven Brands headquarters. Now, all current CARSTAR executives will remain in their same roles, each reporting to Macaluso.

“It is great because it brings so many things together,” Costa said of the merger. “Canada is probably five, 10 years ahead of the U.S. We can now combine IT, marketing and bring best in class execution that Canada has in place. And this doesn’t change anything in U.S. structure.”

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