Hertz names Icahn-backed candidate as CEO

Car rental company Hertz on Thursday named airline industry veteran John Tague as chief executive.

Tague replaces Mark Frissora, who stepped down in September amid pressure from investors like Carl Icahn over accounting errors. Tague has Icahn's backing, a person familiar with the transition told CNBC.

Hertz shares fell 3.8 percent on the news in after-hours trading.

A number of hedge funds were pushing for a different candidate, former Dollar Thrifty CEO Scott Thompson, sources familiar with the search have said. Analysts have previously cited Thompson as a likely candidate for the role.

On Wednesday, Jana Partners warned in an SEC filing that it could push for changes on Hertz's board if it was not satisfied with the outcome of the CEO search.

"While I trust Carl, I don't know anything about John. I look forward to meeting him and hope to do so next week," Jana's Barry Rosenstein told CNBC. "We made it clear in our letter to Hertz that whether it was Scott Thompson or someone better, we just wanted them to get on with it. We look forward to meeting John."

Tague is a former president of United Airlines and was seen as instrumental in that carrier's deal with Continental.

Icahn is Hertz's largest shareholder, with an 8.5 percent stake, according to the latest data. Jana is the third-largest holder with a 4.5 percent stake.