Why David Cote?

With a strong list of finalists, members of the 2013 Chief Executive of the Year selection committee faced a difficult choice, but in the end they concluded that Honeywell’s David Cote merited the top honor owing to his transformational leadership and sustained performance over a highly challenging period. Comments from each of the judges follow:


“David has delivered excellent financial performance and is a respected leader in the business community.”

—Dan Glaser, President and CEO, Marsh & McLennon


“At a time when American manufacturing is making a comeback, David personifies functional and leadership excellence. And, on top of that, he’s a very good person.”

—Fred Hassan, Chairman, Bausch & Lomb/Senior Partner, Warberg Pincus


“David Cote has an outstanding record of leadership,
business performance and good citizenship in a challenging economy.”

—Bill Hickey, President and Chief Executive, Sealed Air

“Wealth creation, long term results…remarkable turnaround. Cote exemplifies qualities needed to not only sustain a valued U.S. brand, but shepherd it through an economic downturn that many did not survive.”

—Christine Jacobs, Chairman, President and CEO, Theragenics


“David is a transformational leader. He took over a platform, deconstructed it and reconstructed it and created a strong culture all while doing that.”

—Tamara Lundgren, President and CEO, Schnitzer Steel Industries


“I support David’s unanimous selection for this year’s CEO of the Year Award based upon the degree of complexity, the degree of challenge and how he’s been able to lead that through Honeywell, the innovation that he brought to the company, the cultural impact and the representation he’s done for CEOs across the country in his statesmanship role.”

—Bob Nardelli, CEO, XLR-8

“David’s been able to master the talent of being able to strategize and execute to make things happen. While he’s brought some 80 companies, he’s incorporated them into the one seamless culture that’s working that reinforces overall performance.”

—David Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands,
2012 Chief Executive of the Year


“David has a long-term track record of excellent performance in a complex business model, as well as demonstrated external leadership in terms of becoming or being the type of CEO that can be remembered, not just for performance, but for being a good person.”

—Bill Nuti, Chairman and CEO, NCR


“Dave Cote has done a tremendous job, by any measure, in leading Honeywell’s stellar performance and has deservedly earned the accolade 2013 Chief Executive of the Year. In addition, Dave has further extended himself in trying to assist the United States political leaders by bringing forth solutions to critical economic issues that are not political party based. Dave also deserves an award and our thanks for that!”

—Tom Quinlan, President and CEO, RR Donnelly


“David exemplifies everything as it relates to being a leading chief executive officer, from performance internally to statesmanship externally.”

—Jeff Sonnenfeld, President and CEO, Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Yale School of Management


“David took on an enormous challenge and just hit it out of the park, creating one Honeywell. He’s often says that the trick is in the doing and David has just done it, both internally at the company and externally in the strong statesman role he’s playing to help our country.”

—Jim Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young