The Class of 2000

Winners of the CFO Excellence Awards
A CFO InterviewOctober 3, 2000

Every class has its standouts. In the case of the CFO Excellence Awards, there are 11 in the Class of 2000. Hailing from companies as diverse as Oracle, Merck, and Capital One, this year’s winners are truly at the top of their profession. Each one has broken through the traditional boundaries of finance, creating value in innovative ways, and delivering it on a consistent basis. In so doing, they illustrate what the awards, which are sponsored by CFO magazine and Arthur Andersen, are all about.

Take the two gentlemen shown on the previous pages. Larry Kellner is taking home his third award in as many years–this one in Information/Knowledge Management–for leading the ongoing turnaround at Continental Airlines Inc. Larry Carter at Cisco Systems Inc. is our first repeat winner in the Implementing Best Practices in Finance category, for accomplishing what most companies only dream about–the virtual close. And Richard Kelson , of Alcoa Inc., is the winner of two awards in this year’s competition for his work in Performance Measurement and Planning Process/Resource Allocation.

The rest of the class–Jeffrey O. Henley of Oracle Corp., for Managing External Stakeholders; Judy C. Lewent of Merck & Co., for Revenue Growth; Paul J. Liska of The St. Paul Cos., for Cost Optimization; Joseph Martin of Fairchild Semiconductor International, for Turnaround Management; Kim Patmore of First Data Corp., for Training/Building a Finance Team; Steven Shindler of Nextel Communications Inc., for Capital Structure Management; Mark Swartz of Tyco International Ltd., for Mergers & Acquisitions; and David Willey of Capital One, for Risk Management–are equally accomplished.

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And thanks have to be extended to our judges for singling them out. Paul R. Charron, chairman and CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc.; Thomas J. Neff, chairman of Spencer Stuart, U.S.; John B. Menzer, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., International Division; Brian C. Walker, president of North America, Herman Miller Inc.; Frank E. Weise III, president and CEO of Cott Corp.; and Julia Homer, editor-in-chief of CFO magazine, worked hard to choose from a distinguished pool of 41 finalists in 12 categories. Their final selections are truly in a class by themselves.

Larry Carter
Faster than the rest.

David Willey
Capital One’s integrated approach to protecting liquidity has paid off handsomely.

Mark Swartz
Not even investor scrutiny or an SEC investigation could slow Tyco’s frenetic deal making.

Steven Shindler
Keeping Nextel Communications flush with cash has produced spectacular results.

Kim Patmore
At First Data, the objective is not to train, but to transform finance personnel.
Click Here for an audio interview of Kim Patmore, CFO of First Data Corp.

Joseph Martin
Fairchild Semiconductor turned “building block” chips into a thriving concern.
Click Here for an audio interview of Joseph Martin, CFO of Fairchild Semiconductor.

Paul J. Liska
At the St. Paul Cos., cutting expenses by $500 million has boosted shareholder value.

Judy C. Lewent
Merck grows from the inside out, powered by the CFO’s joint ventures.
Click Here for an audio interview of Judy C. Lewent, CFO of Merck & Co.

Richard Kelson
By reconfiguring both metrics and planning, Alcoa’s finance chief wins twice.
Click Here for an audio interview of Richard Kelson, CFO of Alcoa Inc.

Larry Kellner
Making Continental Airlines’s turnaround permanent meant installing some high-flying it systems.
Click Here for an audio interview of Larry Kellner, CFO of Continental Airlines Inc.

Jeffrey O. Henley
By keeping customers happy, Oracle pleases investors as well.
Click Here for an audio interview of Jeffrey O. Henley, CFO of Oracle Corp.