ST. LOUIS — Enterprise Holdings Inc. announced its Chief Executive Officer, Pam Nicholson, will retire from the company at the end of 2019.

Nicholson is the third CEO in the privately held company’s more than 60-year history and the first to come from outside the Taylor family, which founded the company in 1957.

Her successor will be named after the company's board of directors meet in December, a press release said.

According to a press release, she is not only the highest-ranking woman in the entire U.S. car rental industry, but also the highest-ranking woman among the world’s largest travel companies and, based on company revenue, among the top female CEOs across all industries.

For the past 13 years, Nicholson has been named to Fortune magazine’s annual list of the “Most Powerful Women in Business.”

Enterprise employees have also voted her in as the highest-ranking woman among 100 chief executives who earned a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, which recognizes the job and recruiting site’s highest-rated CEOs.

“Pam Nicholson is more than a dynamic and inspiring business leader. She is the quintessential Enterprise success story – the personification of our company’s promote-from-within culture,” said Enterprise Executive Chairman Andrew C. Taylor. “She joined our company fresh out of college and rose from a Management Trainee behind the rental counter to our top leadership team through a combination of great management skills, keen business instincts and just plain hard work. She has played a critical role in taking Enterprise from a regional car rental company to a global provider of total transportation solutions. In recent years, she was instrumental in driving an aggressive international expansion that has globalized our brands through a growing network of franchise partners.

“Beyond her strategic and operational accomplishments, Pam’s passion for mentoring a new generation of Enterprise leaders has positioned us extremely well for the future,” Taylor added. “We could not be more grateful to her for all she has done to advance our growth and success. And we wish her all the best as she and her husband, Cal, embark on a well-earned retirement.”

She joined Enterprise in 1981 after graduating from the University of Missouri.

After rising through the ranks during her first 12 years at Enterprise, Nicholson was promoted to Regional Vice President in the company’s Southern California regional subsidiary.

In 1994, Nicholson returned to her hometown of St. Louis to become a Corporate Vice President at Enterprise’s worldwide headquarters, overseeing 10 regional subsidiaries throughout the United States. In 1997, Nicholson was promoted to the top job in New York, the company’s second-largest regional subsidiary. Nicholson moved back to St. Louis after being promoted to Senior Vice President of North American Operations in 1999. She was named Chief Operating Officer in 2003, appointed President in 2008 and promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2013.

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