Greenwich, Conn. — United Rentals named Kenneth Mettel vice president of strategy and planning, effective immediately. Mettel has served in senior management roles since joining United Rentals in 2001 and helped guide the company's rental rate and fleet management initiatives.
“We are pleased that Ken has assumed an expanded role in our strategic business process and management of our finance operations,” said Martin Welch, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Rentals. “Our company has consistently benefited from his leadership of critical initiatives over the past seven years.”
Mettel originally held the position of vice president of strategic planning and analysis for United Rentals before being named vice president — market strategy and customer insight in 2006. He previously served in senior management posts with International Paper as vice president of strategic planning and was director of financial analysis with Unilever. Mettel also has five years of finance experience with Mattel Inc.
Mettel holds an MBA degree from Columbia University School of Business.
In other company news, United Rentals agreed to settle three class-action lawsuits for $27.5 million. The lawsuits were filed following an accounting probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission announced in 2004. The investigation is still ongoing, and in August, United Rentals said it planned to enter settlement talks with the SEC. The lawsuits were filed by investors who bought United Rentals securities from Feb. 28, 2001, to Aug. 30, 2004, according to the company.
United said the settlement will not have a material effect on operating or cash-flow results, and some of the settlement and defense costs are expected to be picked up by the company's insurance carrier. United Rentals said it is not admitting liability or fault in the settlement.
United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.