Cars.com's new chief strategy officer is charged with differentiating its niche amid heightened competition in the online auto-buying marketplace

Cars.com has been marshaling social media and data analytics to personalize the experience of buying a set of wheels online for consumers.

The site is now betting that a YouTube executive will take that customization to the next level, guarding its share of wallet in the increasingly crowded online car-buying marketplace. Cars.com plucked Matthew Gold from Alphabet, where he led strategy and YouTube viewership in new markets, to be its chief strategy officer.

CEO Alex Vetter cited Gold’s data-analytics chops—which drove Alphabet’s business via insights gleaned from over a billion users—as critical to the site’s next growth phase.

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