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Jim Hodge is one of those guys who sees the glass as half full. He joined CA Technologies as treasurer in the fall of 2007, after serving as assistant treasurer at AT&T. That meant Hodge arrived in time for the financial crisis and stock market crash, but he saw the crisis not as bad luck but as a challenge and an opportunity.

When the crisis hit in 2008, Hodge and the top managers of New York-based CA, an IT management software and solutions company, decided to bolster the company’s credit profile by moving it from a junk rating to investment grade. That meant reducing CA’s leverage by more than $1 billion—no small task for a company that had only $4.2 billion in sales that year.

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