Gordon Bethune, former Chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines, will be inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor Sept.14. The induction ceremony will be in the Founders Lounge at the Houston Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Speakers at the ceremony will include Houston Mayor Bill White, Continental Airlines Chair Larry Kellner, and the Chair of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, John White. President George H. W. Bush will provide video comments.
The Texas Transportation Hall of Honor was established to provide a permanent and formal means of recognizing that small group of individuals who have provided Texas with the asset of having an outstanding transportation system. The Hall is overseen by a five-person board of transportation leaders in the state and is housed in the Gibb Gilchrist Transportation Research Building on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.
In the ten years Gordon Bethune was President and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Airlines, the company rose “From Worst to First” in the airline industry. In 1994, Continental ranked last in every measurable performance metric. Under his leadership, and recognizing the employees hard work, Continental won more customer satisfaction awards from J.D. Powers and Associates than any other airline.
“We are all inspired by Gordon Bethune’s ability to instill such a sense of teamwork and pride among the employees of such a large company,” says TTI Deputy Director Dennis Christiansen. “We are honored to have him in the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor among the true transportation leaders of our time.”
Among Bethune’s accolades, Business Week named him one of the top global managers for 1996 and 1997. He was ranked among the 50 best CEO’s in America by Worth magazine from 1999-2001. He was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2004, the Wings Club honored him with the Distinguished Achievement Award. In 1999, Bethune wrote the book “From Worst to First”, which details Continental’s turn-around. The proceeds from the book were donated to a non profit organization that assists Continental Airlines employees and their families in times of need.
Continental Airlines has its corporate headquarters in Houston and operates a major hub with some 700 flights per day at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The Transportation Hall of Honor was established in 2000 as a way to recognize the achievements of the individuals who helped provide Texas with an outstanding transportation system.