Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL and CAL.A) Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Larry Kellner has been named winner of the 1999 CFO Excellence Award for Turnaround Management by CFO magazine and Arthur Andersen. This is the second time Kellner has made the annual list of corporate America’s blue chip financial wizards.
The CFO Excellence Awards recognize the best in financial leadership - those CFOs who are taking on a growing list of responsibilities and challenges facing corporations today.
Awards are presented to individuals from 12 categories representing the major challenges in corporate finance. This year’s winners were selected from more than 275 entries.
The October issue of CFO recounts Continental’s rapid recovery in recent years and credits Kellner for the airline’s “current financial strength.” With nearly five straight years of record profits, Continental is solidly in the black and is in good standing with its creditors.
“The record success we achieved at Continental would not have been possible without the financial stewardship of Larry Kellner,” said Continental Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Bethune.
Continental’s chief financial officer since 1995, Kellner is responsible for the airline’s overall financial operations: treasury, financial planning, tax, accounting, investor relations, fleet, information technology, fuel purchasing, internal audit and risk management.
Having helped Continental achieve a remarkable turnaround, 40-year-old Kellner has no intention of switching to cruise control. Vigilant as ever, he’s determined to keep the airline on a financially positive course.
Sustaining a turnaround, Kellner says, is like maintaining your weight after a successful diet. “You may have lost a lot of weight, but the real challenge is to keep it off,” said Kellner.
Prior to joining Continental Airlines, Kellner was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for American Savings Bank. He began his career at Ernst & Young in real estate consulting and accounting. Kellner has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.
Other winners include CFOs for Microsoft Corp., Enron Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., AlliedSignal Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Carolina Power & Light Co., The Vanguard Group, and ADC Telecommunications Inc.
Chief financial officers representing organizations with revenue of $500 million or more were eligible to participate. A panel of judges, including CEOs, former CFOs and other business leaders, selected the winners.