Diarmuid O'Connell has moved from being a Tesla executive to joining Fair's executive team as Chief Strategy Officer in preparation for a nationwide company roll out later this year.
An established leader in automotive technology, O'Connell will help direct Fair's organizational and market activities as it gets ready to expand from California to major markets across the U.S. throughout 2018.
"Diarmuid is a world-class executive and leader who has proven himself in an array of disciplines and organizations—from groundbreaking companies to our country's national security framework," said Scott Painter, Fair's founder and CEO. "Diarmuid's experience launching revolutionary products will be a critical aspect of our growth plan, while his operational savvy and close relationships at all levels of business and government will help us overcome countless obstacles along the way."
Diarmuid comes to Fair after 11 years at Tesla, where he served across multiple functions in his capacity as Vice President of Business Development. Besides managing commercial and OEM relationships, Diarmuid negotiated strategic deals, took leadership on global public policy, and served on several occasions as interim head of communications.
Prior to Tesla, Diarmuid served as Chief of Staff for Political Military Affairs at the U.S. State Department, where he was involved in policy and operational support to the U.S military in various theaters of operation. Before his tenure in Washington, Diarmuid worked in corporate strategy as a management consultant for Accenture, co-founded an educational software development startup, and was a senior executive with both Young & Rubicam and McCann-Erickson. Diarmuid has a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a master's degree in foreign policy from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
"The best companies solve big, pervasive problems, and there's no bigger one in auto than customers having to take out a massive loan for a car they're forced to drive years past obsolescence—all while watching it constantly lose value," O'Connell said. "I'm excited to help transform how people get a car with a process that's totally transparent and mirrors the countless other digital transactions they make —on their terms and with no long-term commitment."
Having launched last August, Fair is an app that lets customers get a pre-owned car entirely on their phone, with the ability to turn it in any time. Customers can shop for cars from a wide variety of Fair's dealer partners right in the app and scan their driver's license to see if they are pre-qualified for a range of monthly payments. If approved, they can sign for their car with their finger, pick up their keys, and drive it for as long as they want.
Fair is working with hundreds of dealers throughout California alone, has raised significant debt and equity capital, and entered into several notable strategic alliances to help scale its model nationwide. Earlier this year, it acquired the Xchange Leasing portfolio from Uber and became Uber's exclusive long-term vehicle partner in the U.S. for drivers seeking access for 30 days or longer.
Fair has also acquired assets including car-delivery app Skurt, as part of its plan to scale a cost-effective platform for vehicle delivery, pick-up, and fleet management as quickly as possible. More recently than that, the company announced a budding relationship with Ally Financial. Fair will use Ally's SmartAuction platform as a remarketing solution for its returned cars and offer consumers cheaper financing powered by Ally's Clearlane program. There is talk of the two companies exploring more options together, as well.
Edited by Victoria Haviland
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