Julie Napear Photography

Jim Cline, who took over as CEO at Trex in August, had been serving as the company's chief financial officer, a post he held for seven years before moving to the top post when Ron Kaplan stepped down. In an interview with CFO, Cline says Trex was in "pretty dire straits" when he first joined the company, with "a lot of red ink, bloated inventories and controls that were lacking from both financial and operational perspectives." The composite deck manufacturer, which pioneered the use of recycled plastics in decking, had an excellent staff, but too many vice presidents and too much micromanaging, Cline says. Product quality was another problem. The first-generation wood alternative decking that Trex and its competitors were offering didn't live up to the hype. But the company's prospects are much brighter now as it enjoys higher revenues and steady growth. Read More