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CNBC Europe Names the Top European Business Leaders For 2007

CNBC Europe

Europe’s top business leaders were announced this evening at an exclusive gala event to celebrate the European Business Leaders Awards 2007.  The annual awards, presented by CNBC Europe, are based on nominations and judging by independent groups of CEO peers.

Alessandro Profumo, CEO of UniCredit Group, was named as the European Business Leader of the Year (sponsored by BT) for his outstanding leadership and the results he achieved in expanding the bank’s operations into Central and Eastern Europe and leading the company’s merger with HVB Group.  The judges assessed his achievements in a variety of areas including financial performance, shareholder value, management, innovation, corporate governance, business practices and accountability.

The Business Leaders of the Future was awarded to José Luis Duran, Chairman of the Management Board at Groupe Carrefour who was cited by the judges not only for his achievements in expanding the company globally, but also for expanding market share in France by cutting prices, improving food quality and broadening the assortment of products sold.  The judges recognised these visible contributions and believe that he will go on to make an even bigger impact on the industry in the years ahead.

Sir John Bond, Chairman of Vodafone Group, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to business growth, innovation and leadership displayed throughout his career.  The Award, made on the recommendation of the EBLA judges, recognised his distinguished 45 year career at HSBC, where he grew the company through a series of outstanding acquisitions in America and Asia, to create an internationally recognised global banking brand.

Other Awards announced this evening:

• Innovator of the Year – won by Guerrino De Luca, President and CEO of Logitech International, who was chosen for leading the company to produce numerous personal peripherals for PC, games consoles, iPod/MP3 players and the home.  The judges also recognised his financial impact at the company, presiding over 33 consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth.
• Outstanding Leadership in Business Practices (sponsored by Factiva) – was won by Richard Branson, Chairman of The Virgin Group.  The judges praised his proactive position on carbon emissions and for investing the profits from his airline and rail companies in developing energy sources that do not contribute to global warming.
• Entrepreneur of the Year – was won by Michael Spencer, Chief Executive of ICAP who was praised by the judges for building up the company from the ground up, successfully acquiring EBS, the world’s largest currency and commodities trader, and growing the business into the world’s largest voice and electronic interdealer broker service.
• European Business Leader of the Year (Global/Local), sponsored by TIME Magazine – was awarded to Tadashi Arashima, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe as the most successful head of a global division of a non-European company.  The judges cited under his leadership, Toyota’s sales growth across Europe and for creating jobs in Europe by developing plans to build cars where it sells them.  He was also praised for accepting lower profit margins in Western Europe in its drive to met carbon emissions targets.

Mick Buckley, President and CEO, CNBC Europe said, “This year’s Awards have identified another outstanding list of achievers who exemplify the best in leadership.  What makes these Awards different is that they are a peer-to-peer awards, with the winners and nominations picked by their CEO contemporaries from a diverse cross section of industries.

“It’s our business to track the successes of today’s business leaders, and I’m confident that those individuals we’ve identified tonight will drive Europe’s position as a major leading force in the global economy,” concluded Buckley.

The Awards scheme, now in its fourth year, was created to identify and honour those individuals who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors.

The shortlist of nominations for the Awards (see notes to editors for a complete list) was selected by a panel of CEOs from the Dow Jones Stoxx 600, who voted for two executives who they believed were leaders making a significant impact in expanding global business in Europe.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included EBLA 2006 winners Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld (Business Leader of the Future), Niklas Zennström (Entrepreneur of the Year) and Professor Seán Meehan, Professor of Marketing and Change Management, IMD Lausanne and Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, The Atlantic Council and former editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe.  The panel was chaired by Barbara Stelzner, Director of News and Programming at CNBC Europe.

CNBC Europe will broadcast exclusive coverage of the event including interviews with the finalists at the Awards ceremony on Thursday, 22nd March, and in a special one hour Awards programme broadcast on Sunday, 25th March at 19:00 CET, repeated on Saturday, 31st March at 18:30.

The Awards programme is presented by CNBC Europe and is sponsored by BT.  Media partners are CNBC European Business, FOCUS and TIME Magazine.  The business information partner is Factiva.

The shortlist of nominations for the European Business Leaders Awards 2007 were:

European Business Leader of the Year (sponsored by BT)
Wulf Bernotat - Chairman, E.ON AG
Lakshmi Mittal - President and Chief Executive Officer, Arcelor Mittal
Alessandro Profumo - Chief Executive Officer, UniCredit Group
Wolfgang Reitzle - Chairman of the Executive Board, Linde AG
Peter Wüffli - President and CEO, UBS AG

European Business Leader of the Year (Global/Local) (sponsored by TIME magazine)
Tadashi Arashima - President and Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA
Nikesh Arora - Vice President of European Operations, Google
Jean-Philippe Courtois - President, Microsoft International
Miles Flint - President, Member of the Board, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications

European Business Leader of the Future
Matteo Arpe – Chief Executive and Managing Director, Capitalia Gruppo Bancario
José Luis Duran - Chairman of the Management Board, Groupe Carrefour
Annika Falkengren - President and CEO, SEB Group
Andy Hornby - Group Chief Executive, HBOS plc

Innovator of the Year (presented by FOCUS magazine)
Michael & Xochi Birch - Founders, Bebo Inc.
Guerrino De Luca - President and CEO, Logitech International
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo - President and CEO, Nokia Corporation
Maurice Pratt - Chief Executive Officer, C&C Group plc

Outstanding Leadership in Business Practices (sponsored by Factiva)
Richard Branson - Chairman, The Virgin Group plc
Michael Diekmann - Chairman of the Management Board, Allianz SE
Jean-Pierre Garnier - Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline plc
Daniel Vasella - Chairman & CEO, Novartis AG

Entrepreneur of the Year
Stanley Fink - Chief Executive, Man Group plc
Jamie Oliver - Chef and Social Entrepreneur, Sweet As Candy Holdings
Michael Spencer - Chief Executive, ICAP plc
Kate Swann - Group Chief Executive, WH Smith plc

For more information, please contact:

CNBC Europe
Charlotte Blenkinsop / Hugo Foulds
+44 20 7653 9448 / 9398

European Business Leaders Awards
Beverley Mason
+44 (0)7809 194 949

About CNBC Europe

CNBC Europe is the only pan-European real-time financial and business channel dedicated to European CEOs and senior corporate executives, the European financial services industry and the European investor. Today the channel is available in over 100 million homes, 1,400 banks and financial institutions and thousands of four and five star hotel rooms throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CNBC Europe is wholly owned subsidiary of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is the broadcasting unit of the General Electric Company (GE).

About EBLA

The underlying motivation behind the European Business Leaders Awards is to discover which CEOs are creating and sustaining entrepreneurship, developing best practices and carving out powerful businesses in the global economy.  For more information on the Awards visit