William E. Lobeck
2004 Outstanding Business Leader
President and CEO, Vanguard Car Rental USA
For the past 40 years, William E. "Bill" Lobeck has steered companies in the fast-moving auto rental industry. His latest move has been relocating his company, Vanguard Car Rental USA, Inc., from Fort Lauderdale to Tulsa — part of an effort to energize its newly acquired National and Alamo brands.
Vanguard owns a fleet of 217,000 vehicles and has 14,000 employees in 80 countries. Its 2003 sales were $2.6 billion.
Mr. Lobeck is no newcomer to Tulsa. From 1981 to ’93, he was president and CEO of Thrifty Rent-A-Car here. He presided over that company’s initial public offering in 1987 and sale to Chrysler in 1989 for $263 million. He also served as president and chairman of Pentastar Transportation Group, the company Chrysler formed to acquire Snappy Car Rental, Dollar Rent A Car and General Rent A Car. When Mr. Lobeck left Pentastar in 1993, the company’s annual revenues exceeded $1 billion.
In 1995 Mr. Lobeck led a group of investors that purchased National Car Rental from General Motors Corporation. As President and CEO of National, he restored profitability and record growth, prompting the company’s sale to AutoNation in 1997. From then to 1999, he held the top post at AutoNation, Inc., Rental Group, overseeing National Car Rental, Alamo Rent a Car and Car Temps USA.
Mr. Lobeck is married to Kathy Taylor, Oklahoma secretary of commerce and tourism and executive director of the Department of Commerce. Ms. Taylor also is an attorney in private practice.
Mr. Lobeck and Ms. Taylor have supported many charitable and community organiza-tions, including the Philbrook and Gilcrease museums, the American Diabetes Association, Family and Children’s Services, The Tulsa Area United Way, Domestic Violence Intervention Service and the Komen Race for the Cure.
The University of Tulsa also has benefited from the couple’s generosity. Mr. Lobeck and Ms. Taylor have supported the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC) program, the Golden Hurricane Club, and the Robert W. and Marcy Lawless Presidential Scholarship Endowment. They are members of the President’s Council and President’s Cabinet. Ms. Taylor also is a current member of the TU Board of Trustees.