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What it's like to work for Warren Buffett: NetJets CEO gives the inside scoop

Nicole Goodkind
Nicole Goodkind

What’s it like to work under Warren Buffett?

Not too bad, according to NetJets CEO Jordan Hansell. After riding NetJets planes for three years, Berkshire Hathaway acquired the company in 1998. Since then Warren Buffett and his family have flown over 5,000 hours on the fleet.

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NetJets offers fractional ownership and rental of private planes.

“Having Berkshire’s backing and Warren’s imprimatur couldn’t be more important,” Hansell says. “He’s terrific to have as a boss and terrific to have as an owner. I think people know Warren knows what he’s talking about so when he makes a decision like this it says something."

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Aside from his influence, Buffett helps NetJets in any way he can. “He’s very straightforward, he’s easy, he’s available whenever I need him.” Even in the middle of the night? “I would [call him in the middle of the night],” says Hansell. “I try not to but I could if I needed to.”

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Buffett is very direct, according to Hansell. “He’s very clear and gives us good, actionable advice.”

In the past, Buffett has told NetJets to spend whatever it takes to keep their planes the safest and most secure and to “then spend whatever it takes to stay that way.”