Recently, the Wheels Donlen leadership team provided an update on the state of the integration of the two companies.
CEO Shlomo Crandus led the discussion, emphasizing that the merger has provided an optimal opportunity to further expand our solutions for clients of both companies. He reiterated that the joint company culture centers around client success, positioning the new entity to be the most customer-centric fleet management company in North America.
He explained that the merger is a catalyst to reinvent and reinvigorate our approach to fleet management. The combined organization is now one of the strongest fleet management companies in the world, with the scale to continue investing in new systems and spearheading new technologies.
He added that Athene, the new parent company, is highly invested in the go-forward vision. Athene, along with all of Wheels Donlen, is committed to developing an organization that is high-performing, diverse, customer-focused, friendly and a great place to work.
Status of Integration
Crandus said significant progress has already been made to compare processes and products across Wheels and Donlen. The new executive team—comprised of both legacy Wheels and legacy Donlen members equally—is focused on ensuring there is no disruption to customer service during the transitional period.
Donlen President Tom Callahan shared greater detail about his role: driving new product innovation, assisting with the transition to one organization and oversight of marketing. He mentioned his focus is on, “…ensuring the combined organization is being thoughtful and strategic to maximize our collective strengths to benefit our clients.”
Continued Client-Centric Focus
Head of Sales and Client Relations Laura Jozwiak described the company’s continued focus on moving client business forward and reaching customer goals, including fleet optimization, Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), compliance, operational efficiencies, and corporate initiatives.
Acting COO Ahsan Rahim said teams are working collaboratively to identify and plan for optimal operational experiences for all clients, focusing on minimizing disruption, with progress being made carefully and thoughtfully. He also discussed the December formation of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), with representatives from both companies, and the creation of the Integration Management Office (IMO).
Progress to Date
SVP of Customer Experience Jim Wohlever, CIO Tim O’Hara, and others on the Integration Management Team provided an update on the integration roadmap. They shared the broad details of the strategic planning and integration phases and what the overall journey will look like, from the initial integration stage the companies are currently in, through a phased evolution phase, and then eventually, platform integration.
Addressing Common Questions
Crandus stated that the family-owned culture that Wheels established remains intact, saying, “Both organizations are aligned at putting clients first, collaborating with employees and clients. It’s culture, not ownership, that drives results.”
In response to a question about positive changes for clients post-merger, Rahim mentioned the benefits of scale of the larger company, including expanded tech capabilities and products. “As we integrate the businesses, we intend to make a superset of capabilities available for our clients which will provide compelling, long-term benefits,” he said.
Callahan added, “The combined product offerings of both organizations, the strong technology both companies bring, and the huge opportunity for electrification will make us a leader in this space. Nobody is better positioned to handle the future of the mobile workforce than we are.”
Jozwiak reiterated that clients remain the primary focus, even during times of transition, saying, “We remain—and will strengthen our commitment to being—customer-focused in all we do. Our customers are not just first in line, but the only ones in line.” She also confirmed there would be no disruptions to services or teams, and that “we are working on determining the best platform for customers, analyzing our options to decide how best to combine.”
If you have any questions or feedback, please be sure to engage with us through your account team.