Kurt Kuehn, United Parcel Service's CFO, sounds almost nostalgic as he recalls the financial turmoil of the last couple of years. "Even though it's been the worst financial crisis in my career, it's been a great time to be a CFO," he says. The need to ensure liquidity meant companies relied on their CFOs and finance departments more than ever, Kuehn says, and while heading finance during the crisis was stressful, it was also "energizing."
The downturn didn't spare the package delivery company, which experienced "an unprecedented decline in demand and revenues across the globe," Kuehn says. UPS saw revenue fall to $45.3 billion in 2009 from $51.5 billion in 2008, while the number of packages it delivered dropped to 15.1 million a day last year, down from 15.5 million in 2008.