Richard Santulli

Richard Santulli

Anne M. Eberhardt

Santulli Resigns as NetJets CEO

Owner Richard Santulli has stepped down as chairman and CEO of NetJets.

Prominent Thoroughbred owner Richard Santulli, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s jet-rental unit, stepped down from the company he created, according to

Santulli, 64, will serve Woodbridge, New Jersey-based NetJets Inc. as a consultant for 12 months. He said in a statement he will “spend more time with my young family and pursue other interests” after 25 years with NetJets. He will be replaced on an interim basis by David Sokol.

“It is with reluctance that I accept Richard’s decision to step down,” Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett said in the statement. “His vision and energy has made NetJets the leader that it is today.”

Santulli is the more active partner in Jayeff B, which also consists of George Prussin. He has been involved in the Thoroughbred racing industry for more than 28 years, is a trustee of the New York Racing Association, and became a member of The Jockey Club in 2002. As managing general partner of Jayeff “B” Stables, he raced champion and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Safely Kept.

In June, Santulli was among 13 individuals elected to the Breeders’ Cup's 48-seat board of members and trustees for three-year terms. Santulli was among seven incumbents elected and received the highest number of votes. He was later elected in July to the Breeders' Cup's 13-member board of direcotrs.

Buffett appointed Sokol, who is chairman of Berkshire’s energy businesses, to replace Santulli, the company said. Sokol is listed by analysts as a potential successor to the 78-year-old Buffett.