Mitch Golub and Cars.com changed the way we buy cars

Takeaways:

  • Give new ideas a chance to succeed.
  • Don’t compromise your integrity.
  • Think of your employees as customers too.

The Golub File

NAME: Mitch Golub
TITLE: President
COMPANY: Cars.com

Born: Chicago

Education: Bachelor’s degree, mass communication, University of Illinois

What was your first job and what did you learn from it? I was a newspaper delivery boy and I was a vendor for nine years at all of the Chicago sports stadiums. I sold peanuts and hot dogs and later, beer. I’m a South Sider, so I loved the White Sox and I hated the Cubs. But the Cubs did very well by me. Vendors worked on commissions and I was able to put myself through college. That was why it was so wonderful.

If you could speak with anyone from the present or past, with whom would you want to speak with? He was Cassius Clay at the time, but Muhammad Ali lived half a block away from me when I was growing up. He lived in a little bungalow and he had a couple motorcycles. We would go and knock on his door and say, ‘Mr. Clay, Can we see your motorcycles?’ That meant, ‘Give us rides on your motorcycles.’ We were 7 or 8 years old at the time. He would open up the garage door, we would look at his motorcycles and he would say, ‘OK, who wants to go first?’ Among the many questions I would ask him, one would be, ‘Do you have any regrets about not retiring earlier?’

Golub on working from a cubicle: Everybody sits in a cubicle, including me. There is no pecking order in terms of your title, rank and how big a cubicle you get. Everyone is accessible, not only management, but people across business lines. Business moves so fast that most initiatives you take on are cross-functional. That means people must get along, must work together and must work as a team.