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MIAMI-AutoNation Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, FL-based retailer of new and used vehicles, has named Mike Jackson chairman effective Jan. 1. He will replace H. Wayne Huizenga, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Jackson is CEO of AutoNation, a position he started on Sept. 24, 1999, and will retain as chairman. Huizenga will remain on the company’s board of directors.

Huizenga, who will turn 65 in December, says, in a prepared statement, it is time to scale back his involvement in AutoNation and focus on “new entrepreneurial opportunities.” He says the timing for the change is good due to the current strength of AutoNation.

The company ranked No. 101 on the 2002 Fortune 500 and employs 30,000 people at 374 new vehicle franchises in 17 states. Formed in 1996, AutoNation has 28 auto dealerships in South Florida.

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