Another Fortune 500 company bites the Southern California dust. Hilton Hotels is moving its corporate headquarters - and with it several hundred jobs - from Bev Hills to the Washington, D.C. area (location TBD). Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta expects it will be cheaper to operate back there (Nassetta grew up in Arlington, Virginia), and besides, itís closer to key Hilton operations in Dallas and Orlando. This is not a super-duper surprise - ever since the Blackstone Group, the giant private equity firm, acquired the company in 2006, there wasn't much reason to remain in pricey Socal (the Hilton family sold off its remaining 5 percent stake as part of the deal). Still, it's too bad to lose yet one more familiar L.A. business. From the Wash Post:
Nassetta is particularly interested in tapping the region's intellectual expertise in lodging and real estate. Besides Marriott, which is based in Bethesda, there are several other notable companies here either spun off by Marriott or run by former executives. That includes Choice Hotels, notable for its Comfort Inns and Econo Lodges, headed by former Marriott executive Stephen Joyce. Host Hotels & Resorts, spun off from Marriott, owns dozens of Marriott and Starwood properties. Then there's RLJ Hotels, a hotel ownership group owned by Bob Johnson and run by Thomas Baltimore, a former Hilton and Marriott executive, and several other ownership groups including DiamondRock Hospitality, Thayer Lodging, and Interstate Hotels & Resorts.