I'm a private weather industry marketing executive specializing in the strategic approach to SaaS in established and emerging markets. 

Say it with me: Citgo Sucks!

From yesterday:
DALLAS - 7-Eleven Inc. dropped Venezuela-owned Citgo as its gasoline supplier after more than 20 years as part of a plan by the convenience store operator to launch its own brand of fuel. 7-Eleven officials said Wednesday that the decision was partly motivated by politics. Citgo Petroleum Corp. is a Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-run oil company and 7-Eleven is worried that anti-American comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might prompt motorists to fill-up elsewhere.

I have never been a huge fan of 7-11 but I am now. Since when do U.S. based companies actually stand up for something other than the almighty dollar? This is the first in what I hope will be a string of large corporations doing what many of us, both conservative and liberal, would like to see them do.
Some say 7-11 is a right-wing suck-up. I say these people are a minority of uneducated tiny minds if they say or think that.

There is a much larger picture here. For starters, Hugo Chavez, the hypocrite leader of an oppressed country that has no freedom of speech at all steps up to a podium on U.S. soil, and in front of the U.N. no less, and suddenly feels he has the right to publicly state his feelings about the leader of the free world! How would that go over if our president said something of the like on Venezuela soil? He would probably be shot – or at least jailed...
I have several friends who work/worked for Citgo before they pulled out of Tulsa for the supposed greener grass that IS the brown eye of America, Houston, TX. The background on the decision was purely related to tax incentives Texas was offering that Oklahoma and the City of Tulsa simply could not. I don’t blame TX for this though. They have business people running their government and not politicians like here in Oklahoma. The difference is grossly evident.

If I were a substantial stockholder in Citgo though I would be pissed that the company would take a PR and accounting hit by playing the “grass is greener” card and leaving 1,250 trained employees behind in T-town. The key word here is “trained”. The gross gain from tax incentives given to Citgo will probably not be realized for 10 years due to the net loss caused by the relocation of many employees and more important and costly, the employment of replacement employees and the learning curve associated with newbies in a corporation that size.
On paper though, the transaction probably looks good.
Rant over…
Bottom line: stop by a 7-11 and have yourself a Big Gulp to celebrate an American company with a backbone.

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