Robert T. Bouttier, CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California, retired today, Aug. 1, after serving more than 45 years with the organization and five years as CEO, the organization announced today. He is succeeded by John Boyle, who previously served as Auto Club President and Chief Operating Officer.
Bouttier started his career as an insurance claims representative, and he moved through the organization into management and executive positions of increasing scope and responsibility. He oversaw sales and service operations and established the Auto Club’s marketing function in the 1990s. He was named Chief Operating Officer in 2005, Auto Club President in 2007 and CEO in 2012.
Under Bouttier’s leadership, the Auto Club experienced significant growth while increasing its financial stability. Auto Club membership in Southern California now exceeds seven million members. More than 50 percent of households have an Auto Club membership.
Like the Auto Club, its insurance affiliate has grown significantly. The Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club, which provides personal auto and homeowners insurance policies to AAA members, now insures more than 1.2 million cars and 700,000 homes in California. Today, the Exchange is the fifth largest auto insurer and the fifth largest homeowners insurer in California, and also now ranks as the 12th largest auto and 18th largest homeowners insurer nationally, according to A.M. Best.
During the past five years, and all to increase member service and satisfaction, the Auto Club opened several new branches, expanded telephone service centers and added new phone and data capacity, added valuable new discounts, products, services and member-only travel programs, and developed a AAA mobile app. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center also expanded its vehicle research capacity with a new facility, reviewing fuel economy, headlight effectiveness and advanced driver assistance systems, such as those for lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.
Bouttier was also part of the senior leadership that spearheaded the movement of the organization into other states starting with the acquisition of AAA clubs in Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii in 1996. He directed the strategy and operational consolidations following numerous affiliations of motor clubs in several Southern, Midwestern and Northern New England states. Today, the Auto Club Enterprises family of AAA motor clubs operates in 21 states and has 15 million members representing more than 30 percent of all AAA members in the country.
The Auto Club’s new CEO, John Boyle, has been with the Auto Club for 28 years. He joined as Controller and has held increasingly responsible positions, including senior vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, executive vice president and then president and COO. Boyle directed the Auto Club’s affiliated insurance operation as well as the Club’s finance and administrative functions.
Boyle’s promotion is part of a succession plan adopted several years ago by the Auto Club’s Board of Directors. “John has worked tirelessly in service to our members, coordinating with me and other executives to help evolve the organization so that it remains successful in the future,” Bouttier said. “He is very committed to ensuring members continue to trust the Auto Club brand and find value in its products and services. We have worked hard to have one of the strongest and most capable AAA leadership teams and employees in the country, and John has been integral in achieving it.”
Boyle is a member of the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association, California Society of CPAs, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executive Institute.
Bouttier will continue to serve on the Auto Club board of directors.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest member of the AAA federation of motor clubs, has been serving Southern California since 1900. Today, the Auto Club’s members benefit by roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing and buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club’s Web site at www.AAA.com and through the AAA mobile app.