Is Jeffrey Hildebrand the best boss ever?
The Houston billionaire who owns Hilcorp, the largest privately held oil company in the United States, recently gave each of his 1,381 employees a $100,000 holiday bonus.
Forbes notes that such largess is a tradition at Hilcorp. When the company doubled its oil and gas production five years ago, he gave every employee either $35,000 cash or a voucher worth $50,000 toward a new car.
The latest reward came for doubling the company's output again since 2010, even during the recent downturn in the oil business. Amounts are reported to be prorated according to how long employees worked at the company over the past five years. It's no wonder Hilcorp has been named to the Fortune list of 100 Best Companies to Work For three years in a row.
Hildebrand, 56, ranks No. 73 on Forbes list of 400 Richest Americans, with a net worth of $6.3 billion. Earlier this year, Hildebrand and his wife, Mindy, pledged $10 million to the Houston Parks Board in support of its Bayou Greenways 2020 project.
The couple also made news two years ago when they opened a drive-thru doughnut shop in River Oaks community of Houston. "I felt like I wanted to provide the neighborhood with doughnuts," Mindy told CultureMap on the first day of business. "It's as simple as that. There was a need so we are providing a service."