WPI will present Mark O’Neil ’80 with the university’s fourth annual WPI Innovator of the Year Award at 4:45 this afternoon (Nov. 6) in Alden Memorial.
The WPI Innovator of the Year Award recognizes a graduate or friend of WPI who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishments as an innovator, showcasing individuals who have excelled in driving innovation within enterprises of all kinds. It recognizes role models for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, and inspires honorees to commit their time and talent to help WPI become a leading global contributor to addressing the global grand challenges.
As chairman of the board, president, and CEO of Dealertrack Technologies, O’Neil has grown and reshaped the company from a single credit application provider for automotive dealers and lenders into a true end-to-end technology pioneer that is transforming automotive retailing.
After beginning his career in roles with Intel Corp. and McKinsey & Co., he applied his passion for cars to innovating operations across the automotive sales industry. He served as president of the Pennsylvania-based motor group Ertley MotorWorld; co-founded and led CarMax, Inc., a publicly held used automobile retailer; led Greenlight.com, an online automotive sales website, as president and chief operating officer; and currently serves as a director of Dealer Tire LLC, a privately held company.
“Through his resolute commitment to technological advancement in a novel market, Mark O’Neil embodies our focus on accelerating the discovery, development, and commercialization of breakthrough innovation, as well as economic development and job creation. We are proud to honor and recognize his achievements with this award,” says Mark P. Rice, WPI’s vice provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“I’m honored to receive this distinction,” says O’Neil. “I think WPI is enormously committed to innovation and entrepreneurship, and I think the university has made huge strides in promoting and executing both of those concepts. This recognition will encourage and invigorate our efforts at Dealertrack, where our passion is to create innovation in automotive retailing. We are striving to take an enormously complex process and make it simple for the consumer.”
Mark holds a BS in industrial engineering from WPI and an MBA from Harvard Business School.