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Austin Ligon

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Austin Ligon's Social Links


Austin Ligon is an American businessman, entrepreneur, and angel investor who is best known for co-founding CarMax, the largest used car retailer in the U.S. Born in 1951, received an MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1980. Together with the CEO of Circuit City, Richard Sharp, Ligon developed the idea for CarMax in 1991 and launched the first store in Richmond, Virginia in 1993. Ligon was named president of the company in 1995 and headed operations for roughly a decade and a half, helping it grow into a Fortune 500 company and achieve great success. He stepped down as CEO in 2006.

Since leaving CarMax, Ligon has become a prominent private angel investor. Among his investments are Gazelle, CarTrade.com, TazzaKitche, Rev,com, and Redfin. Prior to his work with CarMax, Ligon was a senior consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in London and an independent financial consultant in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ligon is actively involved in the community, particularly in the education sector. He is a member of several different boards through the University of Virginia as well as Johns Hopkins University and Yale.

Companies and Investments

CarMax (Co-Founder, President, & CEO), CarTrade.com (Investor & Advisor), Rev.com (Director), Redfin (Director), Gazelle (Director & Chairman), Johns Hopkins University, Center for Talented Youth (Board Member)

Lessons Learned

With CarFax, I wanted to change the way people viewed the used car business.

All good sales people will only work on commission.

The key to finding success with whatever business venture you pursue is to be honest, stay committed, and work harder than you’ve ever worked before.

Attention to detail, continual focus on execution, and ensuring the customer is always put first are critical to any company’s success.

The most important aspect of entrepreneurship is your mindset and what you can contribute to different organizations.

Always put profit first.

Inspiring Quotes

Austin Ligon 's Quotes

It’s not what industry you go into, it’s not whether you start a company your first day out of school, but it’s really the mindset you develop and the change you bring to organizations that makes you an entrepreneur

Austin Ligon

President Obama has shown he has the vision to support average consumers and taxpayers

Austin Ligon

As a businessman, I know President Obama understands what it takes to spark economic growth, because I have seen him in action

Austin Ligon

Private-equity and hedge-fund guys typically come into a situation of mediocrity, where rapid change may result in profit

Austin Ligon

Influential Books