It wasn't long after CEO Dave Cote hired his new CFO Dave Anderson in 2003 that $34 billion Honeywell International Inc. began to feel the heat--in this case, from a re-energized company. After the company's share price took a nosedive in 2000 and other financials looked less than robust, the two men helped to lead the Morristown, N.J.-based maker of aerospace, automation and control, specialty materials and transportation products and solutions into a period when no record was safe--last year, it achieved record sales, record income, record cash flow and a 40% increase in share price. In the five years from 2002 through 2006, net income rose to a very positive $2.1 billion from a negative $254 million, based on sales of $31.4 billion, up from $22.3 billion.
Earnings per share went from a 31-cent loss to $2.51, and free cash flow climbed from $1.7 billion to $2.5 billion. Less conspicuous to the public, a world-class treasury operation also started to ring up impressive results in one area after another, pushed by an Anderson mandate to engineer a functional transformation of the whole finance operation. The goal was clear: "Partner with business units and create shareholder value," recalls John Tus, Honeywell's treasurer. "We had to create one common set of global treasury processes that would support outstanding financial performance and staff productivity." Honeywell wins the top Alexander Hamilton Award this year for sustained excellence across a broad spectrum of treasury activity. Not only has Honeywell taken two gold awards this year for cash optimization and automation projects, the company has at its core a strategy of world-class treasury operations and deep involvement with business units that has kept it in the winner's circle over the years.