Go back

FT ArcelorMittal awards honour boldest business leaders in 2012

LONDONFinancial Times editor Lionel Barber and Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, hosted the fourth annual FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Awards last night.  Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG, gave the keynote address at the awards dinner held at the British Museum in London.

The awards recognise companies and individuals who have stood out for their dedication to innovation and change in the interests of commerce.

The 2012 Boldness in Business Awards winners are:

  • Driver of Change: Amazon

  • Corporate responsibility: Unilever

  • Newcomer: Muddy Waters Research

  • Environment: Helveta

  • Entrepreneurship: Hyflux

  • Emerging Markets: Samsung Electronics

  • Person of the Year: Michael Woodford, former chief executive, Olympus

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, said: “The companies commended in this year’s FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Awards have shown great courage in their business decisions, making choices that will safeguard and sustain their enterprises in the face of adverse economic conditions. With very high quality entries across the board we are delighted to see significant global representation and variety of industries among the winners.”

Speaking at the award ceremony, Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal, said: “Taking decisive measures to transform a business or an entire market for the better takes boldness. These awards recognise those businesses and individuals who have succeeded in driving through such admirable change. Amazon developed a whole new concept for information consumption while Unilever has demonstrated sheer vision and commitment in embracing corporate responsibility throughout its business. Each winner in every category is an example to learn from.”

The judges for this year’s awards were:

  • Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and Chief Executive, ArcelorMittal

  • John Authers, Senior Investment Columnist, Financial Times

  • Dipak Jain, Dean, INSEAD

  • Leo Johnson, Partner, PwC

  • Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners

  • Anne Méaux, President & Founder, Image Sept

  • Terry Smith, Chief Executive, Tullett Prebon

- Ends -

Notes to the Editor

Full information about the FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Awards can be found at www.ft-live.com/boldness and video content featuring the ceremony and speeches will be made available online from 30 March.

About the winners

Amazon dominates the ebook market and is becoming increasingly influential in the tablet market. This year, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, the latest and boldest move in a drive to transform Amazon from a retail company into a technology conglomerate that can challenge the likes of Apple and Google for pre-eminence in the market for digital videos, music and books. This represents a complete reinvention of the company under Jeff Bezos, who made huge early bets on eReaders and the back-end infrastructure of cloud computing.

Under Paul Polman, Unilever launched its Sustainable Living Plan late in 2010. The plan is considered similar in significance to M&S’s Plan A. Now the company has been rolling out the plan across its divisions. The company also opted out of quarterly earnings reports in order to focus on building the business.

Research firm Muddy Waters Research has made a business out of carrying out due diligence on Chinese companies listed in North America, and claimed success this year by exposing problems at Sino-Forest, the Chinese forestry group listed in Toronto. Muddy Waters has forced a big downward rerating of Chinese-linked stocks in the US by challenging the accuracy and honesty of their accounts.

Helveta supplies technology that maps timber supply chains, tracking wood from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and other countries to furniture makers across the world. The Oxfordshire company, launched in 2004,uses satellite mapping technology, radio tags and barcodes to track teak and other hardwood in line with laws designed to stop illegal logging. This year, Helveta won a multimillion-dollar contract to provide a national traceability system for Congo Brazzaville – a sign of the international drive against illegal logging and the desire by timber producers to obtain premium prices by proving their timber is legal.

The story of Olivia Lum’s journey from her childhood home – an illegally built house with a leaky tin roof in Malaysia – to the modern offices of Hyflux, is both long and inspiring. The company she founded is now a world leader in membrane-based water treatment. Hyflux floated in Singapore in 2001. The number of Hyflux employees has increased from 30 to 2,300 in the past 10 years. Ms Lum won the 2011 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year award – the first woman to do so in its 11 year history.

Samsung Electronics certainly ruffled a few feathers in 2011.The South Korean company is locked in roughly 20 legal disputes in nine countries with its biggest rival and key customer, Apple. In October, it overtook Apple to become the world’s largest seller of smartphones as shipments rose 40 per cent in the third quarter. Sales of its smartphones, which use Google’s Android software, have quadrupled in the past year, and Samsung is now a serious competitor to the iPhone maker.

Only a few weeks after becoming one of the few Europeans to reach the top of a large Japanese company, Michael Woodford, Former chief executive, Olympus sent shockwaves through the Japanese business world by publicly questioning more than $1bn of payments made by Olympus for a string of takeovers. He was summarily sacked by the board of Olympus. But his claims triggered a massive fall in the company’s share price and, in early November, the camera maker admitted it had used acquisition fees to conceal losses on securities investments dating back to the 1990s. By standing up for corporate standards Woodford deserves the greatest of respect.

Judges Biographies

Lionel Barber has been editor of the Financial Times since November 2005. Previously, he was US managing editor, editor of the European edition and news editor. He has also been Brussels bureau chief and Washington correspondent.

Lakshmi Mittal is chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal. Mr Mittal founded Mittal Steel in 1976 and built it through a series of high-profile acquisitions, culminating in the takeover of Arcelor in 2006, creating the world’s largest steelmaker. He is a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council.

Dipak Jain is Dean of INSEAD, the international business school based in Fontainebleau (France), Singapore and Abu Dhabi.  He is also the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Marketing. Professor Jain’s enduring and illustrious career spans nearly three decades both as an educator and as a business school administrator.

John Authers is the FT’s senior investment columnist. He was previously global head of the Lex column and has held a number of other positions during his 20-year career at the Financial Times. Auther’s latest book is The Fearful Rise of Markets.

Luke Johnson is chairman of Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm he founded in 2001 and plays a leading role in the operations of all the company’s investments which include the Giraffe restaurant chain, Patisserie Valerie and Signature Restaurants.  He writes a weekly column for the Financial Times.

Anne Méaux is president and founder of Image Sept a Paris-based public affairs and media relations consultancy. She was communications adviser to Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the former president of France, and communications adviser to the cabinet of Alain Madelin, French minister of industry.

Terry Smith is a veteran stockbroker who began his long association with the City in 1974. He is now chief executive of Tullett Prebon and founder of Fundsmith, the fund manager.

Leo Johnson is partner in PwC’s Sustainability and Climate Change team, and co- founder of Sustainable Finance Ltd, sustainability advisers to more than 50 leading banks and corporates, and now a part of PwC.

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 601,269 (Deloitte assured, 3 October 2011 to 1 January 2012) and a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.2 million people worldwide (PwC assured, November 2011). FT.com has more than 4.3 million registered users and 267,000 paying digital subscribers. The newspaper, printed at 22 print sites across the globe, has a global print circulation of 319,757 (ABC, January 2012).

About ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with a presence in more than 60 countries.

ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global carbon steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology. The Group also has a world class mining business with a global portfolio of over 20 mines in operation and development, and is the world’s 4thlargest iron ore producer. With operations in over 22 countries spanning four continents, the Company covers all of the key industrial markets, from emerging to mature, and has outstanding distribution networks.

Through its core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, ArcelorMittal commits to operating in a responsible way with respect to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and the communities in which it operates. It is also committed to the sustainable management of the environment. It takes a leading role in the industry’s efforts to develop breakthrough steelmaking technologies and is actively researching and developing steel-based technologies and solutions that contribute to combat climate change. ArcelorMittal is a member of the FTSE4Good Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

In 2011, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $94.0 billion and crude steel production of 91.9 million tonnes, representing approximately 6 per cent of world steel output. The Group’s mining operations produced 54 million tonnes of iron ore and 8 million tonnes of metallurgical coal.

ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).

For more information about ArcelorMittal visit: www.arcelormittal.com.

For further information contact:

James Matheson / Richard Lambert, Braben
T: +44 (0)207 025 8021
E: FT@braben.co.uk

Giles Read, ArcelorMittal
T: +44 (0)203 214 2845
E: Giles.Read@arcelormittal.com

Kristina Eriksson, Financial Times
T: +44 (0)207 873 4961
E: kristina.eriksson@FT.com

Back to top