St Joe Company Owns Lots of Florida Land - Now, its Majority Owner is Running St Joe Co.
Anyone following the financial news this week knows the answer to the question of "Who Owns St. Joe," because the company's largest investor has just booted the company's CEO and successfully replaced the St. Joe leadership in a fierce powerplay that's been building for weeks, if not months.
Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme Capital Management, the biggest shareholder of St. Joe Co., announced yesterday that St. Joe CEO Britt Greene will be resigning. Greene just lost a job that he's had for the past 13 years.
Don't feel too bad for Mr. Greene, though, because he's leaving with a $4,000,000+ severance package. The Jacksonville Business Journal has all the details on Britt Greene's severance if you're interested in the dollars and cents.
Meanwhile, Berkowitz will be joining the St. Joe Board -- along with other new St. Joe Board members (1) former Florida Governor Charlie Crist;(2) Charles Fernandez, president of Fairholme Capital; and (3) Howard Frank, COO of the popular cruise line operator, Carnival Corp.
A search firm is in the process of finding one more independent director for the St. Joe board -- and they're also on the lookout for a Big Kahuna to take over the CEO spot that Greene is vacating.
And here's why this is important for all of us to know....
St. Joe Company owns more Florida land than anyone else (except one) and yet St. Joe has been in the red -- running at a loss -- for the past 10 quarters. Not good for Florida.
St. Joe Company is in the business of land development. It's heavily involved in Panhandle development, and has been a part of Florida real estate for literally decades. St. Joe owns almost 600,000 acres of Florida land, and around 70% of that property is within 15 minutes drive of the Gulf of Mexico.
As the Wall Street Journal points out in its coverage today, this revamping of St Joe leadership may well change how North Florida is developed -- indeed, a redirected St. Joe may well impact all of Florida land development in the coming years.
Bottom line? We're all hoping that this leadership overhaul at St. Joe Company is one more step toward an economic renaissance of land development throughout the State of Florida. We all know we need one.