How Todd Skelton went from Pizza Manager to selling a $3 billion auto company


The inspiring story of how one man rose through the ranks from restaurant manager to selling his business for billions of dollars.

Today’s society is filled with stories of extraordinary people who have risen through the ranks from obscure positions to exceptional success. These grass-to-grace stories are not only great to hear, they also go a long way in inspiring others that they can achieve anything they set their hearts on with proper dedication. Todd Skelton is a man with such a story. The former CEO of Prime Automotive Group was not born into a position of advantage or influence. In fact, he started his career as a restaurant manager before being promoted to regional manager of Pizza Hut, where he was made responsible for 16 restaurants in Florida.

Todd held this position for about seven years before realizing that the restaurant business wasn’t tough enough. So he decided to start over in a whole new industry. In 1992, Todd joined a car company as a salesman and after recognizing his commitment to work, the owners promoted him to management within six months. This promotion marked the beginning of the history of this type of car with the automotive industry.

Todd continued to progress in various sales and general management roles in his new automotive industry. He quickly rose from partner to market president, a role he achieved thanks to his inspirational leadership, his ability to successfully manage change and his goal orientation. His position as president of the South Florida region placed him in charge of several car dealerships generating more than $2.5 billion in revenue. Reports showed that “the mix of South Florida franchises included: Mercedes Benz, Lexus, JLR, Nissan, Toyota, CDJR, Ford, Chevrolet, VW, Volvo, Honda, Lincoln and Cadillac. The Skelton Territory in South Florida was the company’s most profitable market four years in a row, from 2010 to 2013.”

In January 2020, Todd was named President and CEO of Prime Automotive Group. In his acceptance speech, the automotive mogul said: “”I look forward to using my industry knowledge and connections to further the innovation that Prime Automotive Group is known for. Part of my job is to ensure that Prime employees know that their contributions matter and are essential to all of our operations. Well-trained employees who feel valued are essential to the level of customer satisfaction we aim to achieve in our dealerships.

Todd kept his promise to move Prime Automotive Group. Through his highly refined leadership, he was able to establish a proven track record of creating and consistently growing dealer sales volume, market share, F&I PVR, fixed operations and profitability. In the same year, Prime dealerships generated $3 billion in annual revenue and retailed over 82,000 new and used vehicles. Additionally, Todd provided exceptional shareholder value by selling the business to a Fortune 500 automotive retailer for four times the January 2020 valuation.

Today, Todd still does not rest on his oars. The multi-billion dollar CEO now plies his trade as CEO of Ascendance Truck Centers, a growing nationwide network of full-service commercial truck dealerships.

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