Continental Airlines` CEO Ranks Sixth In Survey Among Top CEOs In America

Continental Airlines’ (NYSE: CAI.B and CAI.A) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Bethune has been named as one of the 50 best CEOs in America by Worth magazine.

The May issue of Worth ranks Bethune sixth among an elite group of business executives that reads as a veritable who’s who in corporate America. In ranking order, the top five on the list included Michael Dell (Dell Computer), John Chambers (Cisco Systems), Louis Gerstner, Jr. (IBM), Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Raymond Gilmartin (Merck).

Bethune was the only airline chief executive who made the list. Other CEOs recognized included CEOs of a wide range of successful corporations, including Lucent Technology, Walt Disney, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo and the Ford Motor Company, to name a few.

The Top 50 CEOs were described as “a new celebrity class” of heroes, wealth creators, innovators and visionaries “who shine for what they have accomplished to date” and who “stand the best chance of excelling well into the future.”

Worth’s Top 50 CEOs were nominated by Wall Street analysts and selected on the basis of their “integrity, vision, ability to focus, willingness to take strategic risks, and an unwavering belief in themselves and their companies.”


“Bethune’s rescue of Continental ranks as one of the most compelling and most admired business turnarounds of the decade. He took a money loser, a twice-bankrupt company, and turned it into the best-performing and fastest-growing company in the industry,” said Worth magazine.

Bethune joined Continental Airlines in February 1994 as president and chief operating officer. He was named chief executive officer in November 1994 and chairman of the board in September 1996.

Worth is an upscale, monthly personal finance and business magazine for people who are passionate about business, investing and financial well being. It has a circulation of 522,000 and more than 1 million affluent readers overall. Edited by John Koten and started in 1992, Worth is the flagship publication of Capital Publishing. The May issue will be available on newsstands April 21.