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Continental & NASA drama blunted? International execs still want to land in Houston

Continental & NASA drama blunted? International execs still want to land in Houston

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Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Continental's world headquarters is flying to Chicago and NASA is becoming more and more Florida-centric, but business executives still look at Houston as a prime landing spot. 

According to a recent Korn/Ferry International survey, most executives running global companies are willing to relocate for the right career opportunity, and Houston rose to the top of the survey's list as a leading location for executives to relocate. Korn/Ferry — the world's largest executive search firm — is headquartered in Los Angeles.

"Houston provides candidates opportunities to direct their career to a higher level in market that's held relatively steady during the recession," says Eric Nielsen, managing director of the Houston office of Korn/Ferry. "We are now experiencing strong hiring activity due to the global strength of the energy/natural resources sector and the Texas regional economy."

The study shows that 82 percent of global executives from 65 countries would be willing to relocate to a different region, state or country for job purposes, citing career acceleration as the primary motivation. Interestingly, increased salary wasn't necessarily the primary factor influencing executives. Although business-minded, 42 percent of execs also keep an eye towards a location's quality of life as the top motivator.

Less than half of that figure, 18 percent consider a new employer's reputation as a primary motivator. Given Houston's links to such corporate embarrassments as Enron, Halliburton and Stanford Financial, it might seem logical that a company's honorability ranks low on executives' priorities.

The study's findings are a nice pat on the back for the Houston business community, which has long been appreciated as open to entrepreneurship and low-regulation practices. In the wake of Continental's rerouting to Chicago, it's a much-needed boost.

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