CNBC and the Financial Times start the search for Europe’s Top Business Leaders

The search for Europe’s top business leaders is now underway, with the launch of the CNBC European Business Leaders Awards (EBLA) nominations for 2010.

The Awards programme, which is presented by CNBC and conducted in partnership with the Financial Times, is now in its seventh year and was created to identify and honour those European CEOs who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors.

CEOs from European companies within the FT Global 500 have been invited to join an independent nominations panel to vote for two of their peer chief executives who they believe are leaders making a significant impact in expanding global business in Europe across eight categories (see notes to editors for categories).

CNBC also announced the distinguished panel of judges for the 2010 Awards asJames Murdoch, Chairman & CEO, Europe & Asia, News Corporation (winner of the 2009 Business Leader of the Future Award);Christina Domecq, CEO & co-Founder, SpinVox (winner of the 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year); Bart Becht, CEO, Reckitt Benckiser (winner of the 2009 Business Leader of the Year Award); Denis Hennequin, President, McDonald’s Europe (winner of the 2009 Business Leader of the Year - Global/Local Award); Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman, Nestlé (winner of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award); Paul Barry-Walsh, CEO, Fredericks Foundation (winner of the 2009 Philanthropist of the Year). Professor Seán Meehan, Professor of Marketing and Change Management at IMD, Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times and Barbara Stelzner, Vice President of News and Programming, EMEA at CNBC also join the judges panel, with Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, who is its chair.

Mick Buckley, President and CEO, EMEA, CNBC said, “What differentiates these Awards from others is that CEOs nominate peers who they believe are Europe’s top business leaders. Given the economic conditions that we find ourselves in, recognising strong leadership over the last year has never been more important. I’m also delighted that, for the third year, the Awards are being conducted in partnership with the Financial Times whose support will be invaluable to the judging process.”

Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times said, “We are delighted to be collaborating with CNBC on the 2010 Awards. This is a recession that has truly tested the metal of global CEOs and the Awards Nominations Panel, drawn from the FT Global 500, will provide a unique and high calibre voting panel well placed to identify the very best performers.”

The deadline for nominations is midnight 2 October 2009. The names of the finalists will be announced to coincide with the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2010. Winners of the CNBC EBLA 2010 will be announced and celebrated at a gala event on 24th March 2010. CNBC will broadcast exclusive coverage of the event including interviews with winners and finalists.

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