News Column

Layoffs at Dollar Thrifty Due This Week

June 12, 2013

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group will start laying off employees at its Tulsa headquarters this week as the company prepares to move operations to Florida with its parent company Hertz.

The company did not disclose exactly how many employees would be released or move as part of the cutbacks at the corporate headquarters for Dollar Thrifty.

"When Hertz acquired Dollar Thrifty, it noted there would be redundancies among corporate functions which would need to be eliminated, but committed to maintaining certain functions in Tulsa -- a commitment Hertz intends to keep," said Anna Bootenhoff, a spokeswoman for Dollar Thrifty.

"At the end of May, Tulsa employees were notified of their status with the company," Bootenhoff said. "A small number will be departing the company at the end of this week, with others leaving over the course of the next year through to 2015."

Previous reports cited as many as 120 fewer jobs at the Tulsa facility, although Bootenhoff said the company has not indicated publicly future staffing levels for Tulsa operations. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group now has 600 employees at the corporate headquarters in Tulsa, down from 780 in December when the two companies began the integration process.

More moves will come during the next 18 months as Hertz expects to be fully moved into its corporate campus in Florida in 2015. However, these are the first company-wide layoffs since the merger announcement in October, Bootenhoff said, and any fluctuation in employment levels here are due to regular seasonal shifts.

Hertz has about 22 employees at its rental counter at the Tulsa International Airport.

Hertz Corp., the world's second largest car rental chain, purchased Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in November in $2.3 billion deal. Hertz, based in Park Ridge, N.J., announced in May that it was moving its corporate headquarters to Ostero, Fla., and building a 300,000-square-foot facility there by 2015.

The merger came after a two-year battle for Dollar Thrifty between Hertz and competitor Avis Budget Group.

Before the merger Dollar Thrifty was the fourth-largest car rental company.

Most of the positions moving from Tulsa are expected to be corporate executive level positions as the two companies begin merging operations.

Several of Dollar Thrifty's top executives, including CEO Scott Thompson and Chief Financial Officer Clifford Buster, resigned in December.

Tulsa employees moving to Florida will be given relocation assistance while other workers being let go will be provided a severance, Bootenhoff said.

Dollar Thrifty has been headquartered in Tulsa since 1997 when it was founded as the successor to Pentastar Transportation Group, Inc.

Hertz has about 24,000 employees worldwide and Dollar Thrifty has 6,000.

Dollar Thrifty, Hertz merger

-- Nov. 19, 2012: Hertz completes $2.3 billion purchase of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

-- Dec. 19, 2012: Hertz CEO Scott Thompson and CFO Clifford Buster resign

-- May 7, 2013: Hertz announces move of corporate headquarters for both companies to Ostero, Fla.

-- June 2012: Dollar Thrifty begins laying off employees in Tulsa in anticipation of move

-- TBA 2015: Hertz and Dollar Thrifty headquarters will move to Ostero, Fla.

Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380

kyle.arnold@tulsaworld.com

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Source: Copyright Tulsa World (OK) 2013


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