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Hess: The Last Oil Baron profiles a titan of the oil industry, mapping the journey of the quintessential American dream. The story of Leon Hess follows an immigrant kosher butcher's son as he builds an oil dynasty that may never be matched. The multinational, multi-billion-dollar company began with a single second-hand delivery truck and the Rockefeller-caliber business acumen of one young man. Interviews with former employees, beneficiaries, and even his high school sweetheart provide an insider's perspective on the man behind the legacy, allowing today's aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from one of the nation's most inspiring success stories.
Leon Hess built a global empire from the ground up. Along the way, he fought in a war, did business with Muammar Qaddafi, won a Super Bowl as the owner of the Jets, was involved in Watergate, and introduced the Hess toy truck that became a holiday tradition for millions of Americans. More than just a book of business strategy, Hess tells the story of a life fascinatingly lived, and the legacy he left behind.
- Discover the man behind the company, the Jets football team, and the iconic toy truck
- Learn how the actions of Leon Hess affected the modern push toward energy independence
- Study the strategy that turned a single-truck operation into a major integrated company
- Consider the challenges Hess Corp. faces to its family legacy today, and the solutions being implemented
Leon Hess' strategies and techniques can be emulated and imitated, but his entrepreneurial fire is something altogether more rare.Hess provides readers with a glimpse of the man whose unrivaled ambition changed an industry and a nation.
Leon Hess' business acumen started with picking up oil waste products and delivering them for residential use and eventually to refiners and utilities in 1933. His single-truck business quickly grew to a fleet of 12 and after returning from the war, he branched out, building his own oil refineries first at home, and later offshore as he developed Hovensa, the largest refinery in the Western Hemisphere, which he ran jointly with the Venezuelan government. With his acquisition of Amerada in the 1960s, he entered the high-stakes world of oil discovery and production, spreading his company's name -- and resources -- globally. His eagerness to expand the Hess empire led the company to stake one of the largest claims on the shale acreage that is now pushing the U.S. toward energy independence. Fourteen years after his death, his son John Hess faces what may be the end of the family era at Hess Corp., with a revolt from company shareholders who have accused him of mismanagement and attacks on a board stacked with his father's lifelong friends. Stripped of his chairmanship, John is shutting refineries that once were the company's major earners and seeking to sell the signature green-and-white gasoline stations that dot the Northeast and inspired the toy trucks that have become collectors' items. This book will answer a 2 main questions:
- Who is the private figure who built the distinctive Hess brand: a Jewish man who did business with some of the world's most powerful Arab leaders, a sports enthusiast who refused to let his family inherit his beloved football team, a tough businessman who also liked to give employees holiday gifts, a supporter of conservative politicians and a philanthropist whose foundation supports pro-abortion causes?
- What will remain of the legacy of a man who was the last of the oil titans, creating a major integrated company in the mode of John D. Rockefeller?