Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert
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Katie Kuehner-Hebert has more than two decades of experience writing about corporate, financial and industry-specific issues. She is based in Running Springs, Calif.

CEO of the Week: Amgen’s Robert A. Bradway

CEO Robert A. Bradway on Amgen Inc.’s second-quarter results: “in the depths of the pandemic, we delivered.” The Thousand Oaks, California-based biotech firm said that earnings in the second quarter rose 7% from a year earlier, to $4.25 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.81. Revenues rose 6% to $6.21 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.18 billion. “As we look back at the first six months of the year and project forward to the second half, I'm very aware that we’re still in the midst of a really significant global health challenge and deep economic downturn,” Bradway said in the company’s earnings call last week. “In that context, our results…reflect the resilience of our people, strength of our operating systems and our success in continuing to supply every patient every time with the medicines they need.” Amgen’s management team remains “confident” in the long-term growth potential of the company’s medicines like Otezla, Repatha, Prolia, Evenity and Aimovig, as well as its expanding portfolio of marketed biosimilars, he said. Management expects readouts in the second half of the year for sotorasib for patients with advanced small cell lung cancer, tezepelumab for severe asthma and omecamtiv mecarbil for the treatment of chronic heart failure. The company has also restarted many of the earlier stage clinical trials that it put on hold due to COVID-19 at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second. Amgen is also exploring Otezla as a potential treatment for patients with COVID-19. “In an environment of ongoing uncertainty, our strong financial position provides us with competitive flexibility. …our financial strength enables us to continue to invest long-term growth of our business internally and externally, while also returning capital to our shareholders,” Bradway said. Amgen demonstrated “tight control” of expenses in the first half of the year, he said. Now, with healthcare systems operating more normally, management expects to increase expenses, including for activities that were curtailed in parts of the first and second quarters. Amgen is well positioned heading into the second half of the year, Bradway added. “I know we're all operating in unprecedented times here, but we feel like we're in a strong position, operating the company well, and particularly grateful that our staff worldwide are as engaged as they are in our mission, even in this challenging time we find ourselves in,” he said. Bradway became CEO in May 2012 and chairman in January 2013. He served as the company’s president and chief operating officer from May 2010 to May 2012, and was appointed to Amgen board in October 2011. Bradway joined the company in 2006 as vice president, operations strategy, and served as executive vice president and chief financial officer from April 2007 to May 2010. Prior to joining Amgen, Bradway was a managing director at Morgan Stanley in London where, beginning in 2001, he had responsibility for the firm’s banking department and corporate finance activities in Europe. Bradway joined Morgan Stanley in New York as a health care industry investment banker in 1985 and moved to London in 1990   Headquarters: Thousand Oaks, California Age: 57 Education: Bachelor’s degree, biology, Amherst College; MBA, Harvard University First joined company: 2006 Prior to joining Amgen: managing director, Morgan Stanley Named CEO: 2012   He’s No. 132 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

CEO of the Week: Halliburton’s Jeffrey A. Miller

Jeff Miller is chairman, president and CEO of Halliburton Co., another company that’s been significantly impacted by coronavirus pandemic. Now, the company is working to “power into and win the eventual recovery.” The Houston-based oil services group on Monday posted an adjusted loss of 5 cents per share for the second quarter, down from a profit of 35 cents a share last year and “modestly better” than consensus forecast, according to The Street. The company's reported loss was $1.91 per share, or $1.7 billion. Group revenues fell 45.8% from last year to $3.2 billion, missing analysts' estimates of $3.35 billion. Still, the earnings report demonstrates resilency, Miller contends. “Halliburton’s second quarter performance in a tough market shows we can execute quickly and aggressively to deliver solid financial results and free cash flow despite a severe drop in global activity,” Miller said in the company’s press release. “Our results demonstrate a significant and sustainable reset to the power of our business to generate positive earnings and free cash flow.” With more than 50,000 employees in over 80 countries, Halliburton comprises 14 product service lines, which operate in two divisions: drilling and evaluation, and completion and production. The company’s consulting and project management PSL works across both divisions and its financial results are included in the drilling and evaluation division. Despite the market headwinds, the margin performance of Halliburton’s divisions and the $456 million of positive free cash flow generated this quarter “show the speed and effectiveness of our aggressive cost actions,” Miller said. “We have an excellent international business, an efficient North America service delivery improvement strategy, a disciplined capital allocation approach, and a committed and competitive team,” he said. “Our continued deployment of leading digital technologies will drive efficiency and cost reductions for our customers and Halliburton. Overall, Halliburton is charting “a fundamentally different course.” “The strategic actions we are taking will further boost our earnings power and ability to generate free cash flow as we power into and win the eventual recovery,” he said. Miller joined Halliburton in 1997, and for more than 20 years worked in the company’s oil field operations in Venezuela, Angola, Indonesia, and Dubai, according to his LinkedIn profile. In 2010, he was promoted to senior vice president of global business development and marketing, and later took on progressively more senior executive roles culminating in the CEO position in 2017, and board chair in 2019.   Headquarters: Houston Age: 56 Education: Bachelor’s degree, agriculture and business, McNeese State University; MBA, Texas A&M University First joined company: 1997 Prior to joining Halliburton: CPA, Arthur Andersen Named CEO: 2017   He’s No. 130 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies    

CEO of the Week: NGL Energy Parters’ H. Michael Krimbill

Michael Krimbill is CEO and a board director of NGL Energy Partners LP, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based limited partnership that owns and operates a diversified midstream energy business. NGL Energy Partners provides multiple services to producers and end-users, including transportation, storage, blending and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids, refined products and renewables, and water solutions. In June, the limited partnership posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations of $223 million, including a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $250 million in its water solutions segment as a result of the current macroeconomic environment, and a loss from continuing operations of $180.5 million for the full fiscal year. The adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for its fiscal fourth quarter was $161.8 million, and for the fiscal year, $589.5 million. Its fiscal 2021 adjusted EBITDA guidance target of $600 million remains unchanged. “Since our fiscal year-end, we have taken significant steps to improve our balance sheet and liquidity, including reductions in capital expenditures, distributions and operating costs, while also taking advantage of our diversified business platform to maximize cash flows,” Krimbill said. “We see significant challenges and opportunities in this uncertain environment but believe our business model and diversified asset footprint will continue to prove beneficial through this cycle.” Krimbill has more than 20 years’ experience in executive roles in the propane industry. He was the past president and CFO of Energy Transfer Partners LP from 2004 through 2007, and a former director of Energy Transfer Equity, the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners. At Heritage Propane Partners, the predecessor of Energy Transfer Partners, Krimbill filled various roles from 1990 through 2004, including CFO and CEO. Krimball is also CEO and a board director of NGL Energy Holdings LLC., the general partner of NGL Energy Partners LP.   Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma Age: 65 Education: Bachelor’s degree, accounting, Michigan State University First joined company: 2010 Prior to joining NGL Energy: Managed private investments Named CEO: May 2013   He’s No. 129 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

CEO of the Week: Enterprise Holdings’ Chrissy Taylor

Enterprise Holdings has a new CEO this year -- Chrissy Taylor, the granddaughter of the rental car company’s founder, Jack Taylor. She was promoted Jan. 1, replacing retiring Pamela Nicholson, after serving as the St. Louis-based company’s president and chief operating officer. Taylor becomes only the fourth CEO in the company’s more than 60-year history and the third generation of Taylor family CEO leadership. Her father, Andy Taylor, is currently executive chairman. “It is an incredible honor to be named CEO and lead our talented team of employees,” Chrissy Taylor said. “I’m grateful for the outstanding leaders who have entrusted me to build on their accomplishments and fully committed to ensuring the business is successful for another 62 years and beyond.” As CEO, Taylor oversees global strategy and operations for Enterprise Holdings, which along with its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management, offers car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales and other transportation services. The company owns and operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. In May, Taylor predicted how the rental car business will ramp back up, telling Scott Solombrino of the Global Business Travel Association that while airport rental services will take longer, rentals for car repairs and other needs around hometowns will increase – and so will rentals for road trips. “We do not think that by the end of the year we will be at pre-Covid-19 levels, however, our home city business, we think that’s going to pop,” she said. “We think that will gain momentum faster, because as the lockdowns are released or lightened or loosened, people are going to want to get out…. And so, they’re going to take their car, they’re going to rent a car, and they’re going to go places and maybe that road trip really becomes popular with that leisure traveler.” To best protect customers and employees from Covid-19, Enterprise instituted the Complete Clean Pledge, a relaunch of the company’s cleaning protocols. Employees have been trained to implement the new and more comprehensive cleaning mandates for their protection, and for the safety and service of customers. These mandates include enhanced cleaning guidance for vehicles, shuttles and branch locations, as well as social distancing practices. Enterprise also modified its services to include curbside rental transactions, as well as delivery at some locations, to help best serve customers while minimizing foot traffic in locations. “We know everyone has been impacted by Covid-19, and we want to assure our customers that they can have confidence in knowing we are doing everything we can to support their transportation needs with clean vehicles and a safe rental process as they begin to move forward,” Taylor said. Taylor began her career by joining the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Management Training Program, working in the field at several different rental locations. Transitioning in 2003 to Enterprise’s corporate headquarters, she oversaw regional operations throughout the United States. In 2006, Taylor relocated to London to further develop Enterprise’s market in the U.K., Germany and Ireland. Upon receiving her executive MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010, Taylor joined Enterprise Holdings’ treasury group, where she assisted in the financial restructuring of the company’s fleet management business. She was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2016 and president in 2019.   Headquarters: St. Louis Age: 43 Education: Bachelor’s degree, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; MBA, Washington University in St. Louis Named CEO: 2020   She’s No. 128 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

CEO of the Week: Cummins Inc’s N. Thomas Linebarger

In Cummins Inc.’s latest Sustainability Progress Report released this month, chairman and CEO Thomas Linebarger makes a special note to discuss the challenges and opportunities now facing the engine manufacturer amid Covid-19 and efforts to increase social justice. “The pandemic and protests have revealed a fundamental truth about sustainability: companies and institutions are only as strong as the communities, countries and the world around them,” Linebarger writes. “To be successful for our shareholders over the long run, we must ensure the health and prosperity of all of our stakeholders. … You can count on Cummins to strive for a more prosperous and just world.” The report details the Columbus, Indiana-based manufacturer’s progress on its environmental strategy, PLANET 2050, which includes science-based goals that meet or exceed the goals in the United Nations’ Paris agreement on climate change. Last year Cummins met three of the company’s 2020 environmental sustainability goals one year early and narrowly missed a fourth. Cummins’ signature product continues to be diesel engines, but the company is now investing $1 billion in research, development and engineering to bring new products to market fueled by hydrogen and other low-carbon energy sources, according to the report. Cummins’ New Power segment, which combines the company’s investments in electrified powertrains, fuel cells and hydrogen production technology, completed its first full year in 2019. The group successfully brought zero emissions electrified powertrains to bus markets in North America in 2019, the report states. Cummins also has more than 2,000 fuel cell installations across a variety of on and off highway applications, as well as more than 500 electrolyzer installations to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, according to the report. “These technologies will play a prominent role in the company’s PLANET 2050 aspiration to ultimately power customer success through carbon-neutral technologies,” the report states. Before becoming chairman and CEO in 2012, Linebarger served as president and chief operating officer from 2008 to 2011, executive vice president and president of the company’s power generation business from 2003 to 2008, vice president and chief financial officer from 2000 to 2003, and vice president, supply chain management from 1998 to 2000. Prior to joining Cummins, Linebarger was an investment analyst and investment manager at Prudential Investment Corp., where he lived in both Singapore and Hong Kong. While in college, Linebarger was a Cummins intern working on the manufacturing line at the Cummins Midrange Engine plant in Walesboro, Indiana. He joined the company full time in 1993.   Headquarters: Columbus, Indiana Age: 57 Education: Joint bachelor degrees: management engineering, Claremont McKenna College; and mechanical engineering, Stanford University; Master’s degree, manufacturing systems, and MBA, Stanford University First joined company: 1993 Prior to joining Cummins: investment analyst and investment manager at Prudential Investment Corp. Named CEO: 2012   He’s No. 131 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

CEO of the Week: US Foods Holding Corp.’s Pietro Satriano

Under CEO Pietro Satriano, US Foods doing its part to serve in the pandemic.

CEO of the Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Marc N. Casper

Under CEO Marc N. Casper, Thermo Fisher on the front lines fighting Covid-19

CEO of the Week: Duke Energy’s Lynn J. Good

Under CEO Lynn J. Good, Duke Energy supports social justice, clean energy – and free power to those impacted by Covid

CEO of the Week: Eli Lilly’s David A. Ricks

Under CEO David A. Ricks, Eli Lilly and Co. conducts the world's first COVID-19 antibody study using human patients

CEO of the Week: Nucor’s Leon J. Topalian

Leon J. Topalian’s first months as Nucor’s CEO challenging due to Covid.
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CEO CONFIDENCE INDEX

CEO Confidence In 2021 Economic Recovery Strengthens In September

In a survey of more than 600 CEOs, 4 out of 5 forecast a positive business environment by this time next year—if a vaccine is found and the presidential election goes off smoothly.