CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: SAH) today announced that the Company has promoted Heath R. Byrd from Chief Information Officer to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Byrd joined Sonic in November of 2007 as CIO and has been a driving force in the implementation of the Company's many technology innovations. Mr. Byrd takes over a team and balance sheet that is well prepared for future growth opportunities and is focused on continuing to build value for Sonic's shareholders. He brings great finance and operations expertise and a deep understanding of the Company. Mr. Byrd stated, "I am looking forward to a smooth transition that continues our commitment to growing our base business, acquiring our real estate and strengthening our balance sheet." Before joining Sonic Automotive, Mr. Byrd held several positions at HR America including President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to his tenure at HR America, Mr. Byrd was a manager at Ernst & Young where he consulted in financial strategy and mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Byrd attended the Air Force Academy, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from NC State and received his Masters degree from Duke University. He has served on the board of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte, the advisory Board of the YMCA and volunteers at Charlotte Urban Ministries. Mr. Byrd also stated, "It's an honor and a privilege to be a member of the Leadership Team here at Sonic Automotive." B. Scott Smith, the Company's Co-Founder, President and Chief Strategic officer stated, "We are proud of Heath. He is well prepared for the role. Our ability to promote from within for this critical position is a testament to our organization's commitment to associate development and providing a career path to develop and retain top talent." About Sonic Automotive Sonic Automotive, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the nation's largest automotive retailers. Sonic can be reached on the web at www.sonicautomotive.com. SOURCE Sonic Automotive, Inc.