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Fractional Jet Founder Rick Santulli Quits

by John M. White |

I remember when Executive Jet started in Columbus, OH started way back in 1964. The company was formed by a group of retired USAF Generals, and the original President of the company was a General named Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.. Perhaps that name rings a bell with you; he was the pilot of the B-29 Enola Gay that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. In 1986, after a stellar career on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs and building an off-shore helicopter operation Richard Santulli purchased Executive Jet to prove his theory about NetJets. NetJets was a concept of selling shares of aircraft to investors who wanted the convenience of a corporate aircraft but who did not have the need of a flight department. By selling shares in particular models of aircraft and allowing the owners to use each others aircraft economies of scale brought NetJets to the forefront of fractional jet ownership. Today the company operates over 800 business jets all over the world. With bases in the United States and Europe the company has a truly global reach. netjets In 1998 Warren Buffett, ever willing to purchase niche companies, purchased NetJets through his Berkshire Hathaway company. After 25 years Santulli has decided to step down, citing the need to spend time with his young family as the reason. Rumor has it, though, that the real reason is Santulli expected to suceed Buffett at Bershire Hathaway, and that won't happen now. So the end to another legend of aviation comes about and the new leader of NetJets has come from the energy industry, not aviation. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror.

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