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Business Observer Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5 years ago

Hertz CEO already has Naples roots

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Naples has always been known as a haven for Fortune 500 CEOs who want to get away from the corporate life.

Naples has always been known as a haven for Fortune 500 CEOs who want to get away from the corporate life.

But now one of those CEOs decided to bring the corporate life to Southwest Florida.

Mark Frissora, whose wife, Jennifer, owns a condo assessed at $4.5 million at Le Rivage on tony Gulf Shore Boulevard in Naples, decided to move Hertz' worldwide corporate headquarters to Estero in south Lee County.

On May 7, Frissora, the chairman and CEO of Hertz, joined Florida Gov. Rick Scott at the rental car counter at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers to announce the relocation of the company's headquarters to nearby Estero from New Jersey. The CEO told the gathering of several hundred government officials and business executives that he plans to become a full-time Florida resident.

Once the 300,000-square-foot headquarters building is completed in 2015, the company's headquarters will employ 700 people. “We did not make the decision to relocate lightly,” Frissora says.

Besides the good quality of life, Frissora says there are plenty of reasons to move Hertz' headquarters to Southwest Florida. “Florida rents more cars per capita than any other state,” he says. Orlando is the biggest car-rental market in the world, with $400 million a year in rental income. Hertz already has 3,000 employees in Florida, he says.

And state and local government officials agreed to give Hertz $18.1 million if it meets the promise of 700 jobs. Lee County commissioners agreed to give Hertz $4 million of that sum, with the rest coming from the state.

Hertz acquired the Tulsa, Okla.-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in November. “We've been looking to bring Dollar Thrifty and Hertz under one roof,” says Frissora.

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