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What words come to mind when you think of Continental Airlines Successful company preferred airline good service on-time airline top carrier financially solvent happy employees These are all true however this was not always the case Just six short years ago probably not one of those descriptions would even be said in the same breath as Continental Airlines In fact in 1994 Continental was facing its third bankruptcy that bankruptcy would have been the final blow to take this airline down for the last time Employees were disgruntled about their work environment their pay and their airline they had even taken pay-cut after pay-cut in an effort to keep the airline afloat Customers did not think much more of the company as Continental was considered simply the worst among the nations ten biggest airlines Continental Airlines is now recognized as one of Fortune Magazines 100 Best Companies to Work for in America even moving up from the 40th position to a very respectable number 23 on the list in 1999 a particularly satisfying award for a company of over 50000 employees Continental is also now considered to be a respected airline and company not only in the airline industry but also across all industries both nationally and worldwide This metamorphosis came about because of a team of individuals who took a hard look at the condition of the company They considered where the company had been and where it could go At that point in time the possibilities were two Continental could continue on the road it was on and probably end up in its third bankruptcy and possibly the end of an airline or undergo some major changes in the hopes of creating a really great airline As the story goes the Board of Directors of Continental Airlines went out on a limb and hired a gutsy plain-speaking ex-Navy aircraft mechanic who was armed with a few commonsense notions about good management and
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