Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has announced it will present Mark O'Neil '80 with the university's fourth annual WPI Innovator of the Year Award. As chairman of the board, president and CEO of Dealertrack Technologies in Lake Success, N.Y., he has grown and reshaped the company from a single credit application provider for automotive dealers and lenders into a true end-to-end technology innovator that is transforming automotive retailing.
O'Neil will make a public address on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4:45 p.m. at WPI's 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.
Mark O’Neil ’80 Innovator of the Year Inspires Innovation
Applying his passion for cars to transform the automotive retailing industry, Mark O’Neil ’80, shares his formula for innovation: belief in an idea, a good team, hard work, and perseverance through adversity. Watch his message to the community.
"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," said Mark P. Rice, WPI's vice provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
After beginning his career in roles with Intel Corporation and McKinsey & Co., O'Neil applied his passion for cars to improving 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; and led Greenlight.com, an online automotive sales website, as president and COO.
O'Neil has served as Dealertrack Technologies' president and CEO since February 2001, and has served as a member of its Board of Directors since August 2001. Under his tutelage, the company has grown to a more than $800 million industry leader, delivering award-winning, integrated web-based tools, services, and technologies that drive efficiencies and profitability for automotive retailers, including dealers, lenders, vehicle manufacturers, third-party retailers, agents, and aftermarket providers.
In addition, during his tenure, the company’s original offering – Dealertrack's Credit Application Network – has become the industry's largest finance network, connecting more than 20,000 dealers with more than 1,400 lenders in North America. Dealertrack also hosts more than 60 million unique visitors per month on 20,000 dealer websites across the country.
A resident of Richmond, Va., O’Neil also currently serves as a director of Dealer Tire LLC, a privately held company, and is a member of the Steward School Foundation Board in Virginia. In addition to receiving his bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from WPI, O'Neil holds a master of business administration from Harvard Business School.
"I’m honored to receive this distinction," said 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."