Bob Brockman, former Reynolds and Reynolds CEO, dies at 81

Brockman’s smaller UCS merged with then-publicly traded Reynolds and Reynolds in 2006 for $2.8 billion, a transaction that took Reynolds private.

The publicity-shy Brockman often let other executives be the public face of the company and rarely granted interviews. He earned a reputation in the industry as a tough businessman and negotiator, and he was a defender of controversial fees that Reynolds charged to integrate third-party software products into its dealership management systems.

“Frankly, I’m just letting [dealers] see me and talk to me,” Brockman told Automotive News in November 2007, a year after the merger was completed and amid efforts to meet with dealers across the U.S. “My competitors have spread a lot of words about what kind of person I am. I don’t think I’m that way, and after I go talk to these dealers, they don’t think that I’m that way, either.”

Reynolds and Reynolds, in a statement Monday, paid tribute to Brockman and credited him for playing an “important role for many years, growing the company to be one of the world’s top dealer services providers it is today. We are grateful for his leadership and the considerable time and energy he dedicated to building Reynolds & Reynolds over the years.”

Brockman stepped down from Reynolds’ leadership weeks after the federal government’s indictment was unsealed in October 2020. Prosecutors alleged that he was malingering, or feigning, symptoms of dementia in doctor’s offices for years while actively involved in important business decisions as Reynolds’ chief executive.

His lawyers, in seeking a competency hearing, included a medical evaluation by a Baylor College of Medicine neuropsychologist from October 2020, who wrote that Brockman’s wife “noted that he was having difficulties at work and she had to help him type all of his employee performance reviews.”

“For as long as he could, Mr. Brockman tried to rely on his former high intellect and decades of experience, as well as the support and assistance of his wife and business colleagues, in an effort to continue to lead or at least contribute to the business that he built,” his attorneys wrote in a December 2020 court filing. “He knows now that he can no longer do so.”

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