It stands to reason that excellent companies are piloted by excellent financial executives. Consequently, it's not altogether surprising that the winners of this year's CFO Excellence Awards, sponsored by CFO magazine and Arthur Andersen, hail from such companies as Microsoft and Wal-Mart and AlliedSignal.
What is surprising is just how innovative they really are. Whether it's transforming finance into a capital-raising machine, as Andrew Fastow did at Enron; or developing new, company-specific metrics, the way Ralph Packard did at The Vanguard Group; or pruning costs in anticipation of a changed competitive environment, the way Glenn Harder did at Carolina Power & Light--this year's winners illustrate what it truly means to break through the traditional boundaries of finance and create value in innovative ways.
Singling out their accomplishments, however, was a most unenviable task. A panel of judges-- consisting of Paul R. Charron, chairman and CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc.; Nell Minow, principal of LENS; Thomas J. Neff, chairman of Spencer Stuart, U.S.; Dennis D. Dammerman, vice chairman, General Electric Co., and CEO, G.E. Capital Services; Thomas J. Wilson, president, Allstate Life Insurance Co.; Karl M. von der Heyden, vice chairman, PepsiCo Inc.; and Julia Homer, editor of CFO--was required to choose from a distinguished pool of 46 finalists in 12 categories. But after much deliberation, the judges rose to the occasion, recognizing those CFOs who they deemed were most involved in their stated disciplines, most creative in their initiatives, and most successful in terms of creating shareholder value.
In other words, the finest in finance.
Those CFOs, and the awards they won, are:
- Frank J. Borelli of Marsh & McLennan Cos., Mergers and Acquisitions
- Larry R. Carter of Cisco Systems Inc., Developing an Efficient Finance Department
- Chris A. Davis of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Revenue Growth
- Andrew S. Fastow of Enron Corp., Capital Structure Management
- Glenn E. Harder of Carolina Power & Light Co., Cost Optimization
- Lawrence W. Kellner of Continental Airlines Inc., Turnaround Management
- Gregory B. Maffei of Microsoft Corp., both Risk Management and Information/Knowledge Management
- John B. Menzer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Planning Process/Resource Allocation
- Ralph K. Packard of The Vanguard Group, Performance Measurement
- Robert E. Switz of ADC Telecommunications Inc., Managing Stakeholders
- Richard F. Wallman of AlliedSignal Inc., Training/Building a Finance Team
We congratulate them on their accomplishments.