KAR Auction Services Inc. has announced the creation of new enterprise functions and leadership roles in product development, data analytics and strategy. The company has both promoted from within and recruited from outside sources to fill these new roles.

Tom Kontos, who has been with KAR's ADESA wholesale car auction business unit, was promoted to chief economist for KAR. He will aggregate economic and industry data with KAR’s data resources to analyze a wide spectrum of market trends.

Terrence Wynne, vice president of data as a service, will work closely with Kontos and KAR’s Data Science Solutions team to translate data into actionable insights for sellers and buyers.

Pat Walsh, a 30-year KAR Auction Services veteran, will now serve as senior vice president of product development. In this role, he will institute a new approach to new product development in order to more quickly and effectively identify, foster, and deploy new ideas and solutions for KAR’s customers.

The firm also announced that Chris Adams will serve as the vice president of market development. He is charged with identifing opportunities to expand KAR’s broad portfolio of technology and capabilities to new channels, markets and geographies.

Additionally, Joe Bannon will serve as vice president of strategy, a role in which he will lead KAR’s strategic planning activities and focus on aligning and prioritizing investment and business decisions to extend KAR’s footprint and positively impact customers.

The intent behind these new roles, the company stated, is to leverage the broad expertise, innovation and entrepreneurial talent across the KAR family of companies. By instituting a more aligned approach to product development, data analytics and strategy, KAR will be able to bring new products, services and capabilities to market at a faster and more effective rate, according to the company.

“We have hired and promoted a proven team of industry pioneers to further empower our customers and anticipate unmet needs in the market,” said COO Don Gottwald. "Our goal is to radically expand both the scope and impact of our mobile, digital, and physical and online auction capabilities."