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NetJets' Chairman David Sokol Resigns (more Berkshire Hathaway fallout)
AvWeek ^ | 4/3/11 | Garvey

Posted on 04/04/2011 11:23:58 AM PDT by pabianice

The surprise announcement yesterday that NetJets Chairman David Sokol had resigned from Berkshire Hathaway under a cloud of insider trading suspicion produced smiles of satisfaction among many general aviation leaders.

When the word of Sokol’s sudden exit spread during a dinner at the Sun ‘n Fun airshow in Lakeland, Fla., last night, one general aviation manufacturing CEO said, “There’s celebrating going on in Wichita and Savannah today.”

Sokol cancelled orders for hundreds of business jets built by Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft, both based in Wichita, Kan., and Gulfstream, which is headquartered in Savannah, Ga. He said he did so to help stanch NetJets flood of red ink. Then, having been credited with a turnaround of the fortunes of the fractional provider, Sokol recently placed orders for jets built by Embraer and Bombardier, moves that added to his former suppliers’ bitterness.

That celebrated turnaround, said one GA leader, is more likely to be attributed to clever bookkeeping than executive leadership and vision.

Sokol’s departure is unlikely to have any immediate impact on NetJets’ direction, since he already put in place a leadership team, headed by CEO Jordan Hansell, whom Sokol said will become chairman.

In notifying NetJets employees of his departure, Sokol wrote that “the future of NetJets is bright” and that “as a proud NetJets owner, I look forward to watching your progression from the customer’s seat again.”

TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aviation; berkshirehathaway; buffett; cessna; davidsokol; gulfstream; hawkerbeechcraft; netjets
Sokol is a one man business aviation disaster. Or a prophet. You decide.
1 posted on 04/04/2011 11:24:04 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: pabianice
clever bookkeeping [rather] than executive leadership

This is a habit for him and he's finally gotten caught. What it really speaks to is Buffett's ability to pick actual winners.

This guy was being groomed to succeed Buffet. That speaks volumes about Buffett's judgment. How much of Buffett's empire is filled with guys like this one?

2 posted on 04/04/2011 12:52:34 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: pabianice

He stabbed American jet builders in the back and same for their employees. Serves him right.

3 posted on 04/04/2011 1:09:25 PM PDT by dennisw ( The early bird catches the worm)
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To: 1010RD

Buffett supported Obama.

No further time need be spent analyzing his judgment.

4 posted on 04/04/2011 1:46:41 PM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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