KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J is changing its name to Pilot Co., bringing all of its related brands under one corporate identity. The new name will serve as an umbrella that captures the total portfolio of the business as it continues to expand its retail and energy operations, the company said.
The update also helps employees who work across a growing network of retail brands and energy companies to operate as one team working together, it said.
"The work our team has put into our 60-plus-year legacy has prepared us for what's ahead as we set out to advance our next phase of growth," said Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot. "We are an innovative company that is the leader in the supply and distribution of fuel in North America. As the industry evolves, it's important that we do as well. We must continue to expand our business and develop more capabilities that enable us to successfully serve our team members and guests. Pilot Co. is another step in our company's bright future."
The company will not rebrand its Pilot and Flying J travel centers, but the change will bring a new logo that harkens back to the first Pilot gas station founded by James A. Haslam, who is now chairman, in Gate City, Va., in 1958.
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot Flying J has a network of approximately 750 retail and fueling locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces, with more than 900 including the One9 network. It also has 32 Truck Care service centers with roadside assistance, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers and 34 Boss Shops.
Pilot Flying J’s retail division includes fuel networks Pilot Flying J and One9; service companies Parts and Service Solutions and Pilot Flying J Truck Care; travel centers Pilot, Flying J, Mr. Fuel, Stamart, Pride and a fuel marketing partnership with Speedway; and food brands PJ Fresh and Pilot Coffee.
Pilot Flying J launched the One9 Fuel Network, a nationwide fueling network aimed at smaller fleets, in November. It gives professional drivers and trucking companies access to personalized credit and reward benefits with a variety of travel center brands.
The company’s energy side, PFJ Energy, includes BunkerHill, Tartan Oil, Saratoga, Pro Petroleum and Pilot Water Solutions. Over the past two years, PFJ Energy has launched work in biodiesel supply, logistics, wholesale marketing and oil field trucking services. PFJ Energy services more than 12,000 trucking fleets and hauls 900,000 barrels of product daily.
The brand change should create clarity for the company's 28,000 employees, aid in recruitment and represent the company's continued emphasis on growth, the Haslams said in an interview with Knoxville News.
The move follows the 2017 acquisition by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of a 38.6% equity stake in the travel-center company. The Haslam family will continue to hold a majority interest with 50.1% ownership in the company, and FJ Management Inc., owned by the Maggelet family, will retain 11.3% ownership until 2023. Berkshire Hathaway will then become the majority shareholder by acquiring an additional 41.4% equity stake, and the Haslam family will retain 20% ownership, with plans to remain involved with the company.