Friday, August 14, 2009

NetJets setting up HQ in Columbus

Business First

A week after the founder and CEO of NetJets Inc. resigned from the company without warning, the aviation business has made plans to move its headquarters to Columbus.

A NetJets spokeswoman, in a message to Columbus Business First, said Thursday that the company has decided to move the corporate office from Woodbridge, N.J., where former CEO Richard Santulli kept an office. NetJets’ operational headquarters are in Columbus.

Further details of the company’s plans weren’t made available.

NetJets’ plans come more than a year after it outlined an effort to consolidate its Easton offices into an expanded campus surrounding its maintenance, operations and training center at Port Columbus International Airport. The $200 million expansion is expected to add 800 jobs to the company’s 2,000-worker payroll in Central Ohio over the coming years.

Dan Williamson, a spokesman for Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, said the city is pleased with NetJets’ decision.

“Having their headquarters here speaks well of them and it speaks well of the city of Columbus,” he said.

The city was involved in courting NetJets’ expansion last year, but Williamson said he was unaware of whether local officials had talks with the company over the headquarters move.

Santulli, who founded the company 25 years ago, resigned Aug. 4 and was replaced as interim chief by David Sokol, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK), headed by investment maven Warren Buffett, owns NetJets, which sells fractional ownership of private jets.


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