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Top 50 Family Business Leaders 2013

CampdenFB unveils its annual Top 50 Family Business Leaders list – the names inspiring their businesses and beyond.
Top 50 Family Business Leaders 2013

Now in its third year, CampdenFB’s Top 50 Family Business Leaders, with the support of EY, represents the most authoritative list of the world’s greatest leaders of family-controlled firms. Judged by a team of professors from leading business schools and CampdenFB editorial staff, the list this year gives specific reasons why they have been included. The four factors used to evaluate the business leaders were: growth of the business; succession planning; corporate governance; and entrepreneurship. Many of those included showed achievement in all four of these categories, but might have particularly excelled in one or two.

This year we have also introduced a new category – “the ones to watch”. These are individuals that have already shown exceptional talent, possibly in another career, but have only recently risen to the top of their family business, and are now in a position to make a difference.

For more information about the methodology and the judges, click here.


The CampdenFB Top 50 Family Business Leaders 2013
(in alphabetical order)

SAAD ABDULLAH AL KHORAYEF
Role: CEO
Company: Alkhorayef Group
Country: Saudi Arabia

Saad Abdullah Al-Khorayef has the top position at the Alkhorayef Group, whose interests range from oil and lubricants to printing and paper. Under his leadership, the Riyadh-based firm has strengthened its international presence and now has operations in 40 countries. Third-generation Saad Abdullah Al-Khorayef has been behind the internationalisation and diversification of the business, which employs more than 5,000 people, since he took the top job.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ERRAMON ABOITIZ
Age: 55
Role: President and CEO
Company: Aboitiz Equity Ventures
Country: Philippines
Revenues: €1.3 billion (2011)

Erramon Aboitiz has a reputation as an innovator in the business world. Having focused on expanding the assets of his group’s big subsidiary Aboitiz Power, he’s overseen growth of more than 100% at Aboitiz Equity Ventures since 2008.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

JOHAN ANDRESEN
Age: 51
Role: Chairman
Company: Ferd
Country: Norway
Revenues: €1.2 billion (2011)

Two things sum up Johan Andresen – entrepreneurship and openness. Click here to read more.
NOMINATED FOR: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, ENTREPRENEURSHIP

GIANLUIGI APONTE
Age: 72
Role: President
Company: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
Country: Switzerland

Organic growth, decentralised management and alliances with competitors – Gianluigi Aponte turned MSC into the world’s second-largest container shipping company in 30 years.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, ENTRPENEURSHIP

SIMONE BAGEL-TRAH
Age: 44
Role: Chairwoman of shareholders’ committee & supervisory board
Company: Henkel
Country: Germany
Revenues: €15.6 billion (2011)

Considered one of the most powerful businesswomen in Germany, Simone Bagel-Trah has been at the helm of consumer goods business Henkel since 2009. With a doctoral degree in microbiology and two years’ experience as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, she has the science background needed to understand the essentials of Henkel’s products – which include Schwarzkopf, Persil and Loctite. Under her watch, the company has been expanding heavily, buying stakes in businesses in Central America, Denmark and Germany.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

MARCELO BAHIA ODEBRECHT
Age: 43
Role: President and CEO
Company: Odebrecht
Country: Brazil
Revenues: €25.8 billion (2011)

This year is Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht’s third in a row to make this list – and with revenue growth of about 30% in 2011 it’s hardly surprising. In fact, since taking the helm in 2008, he’s overseen growth of more than 70% at the Latin American conglomerate, whose interests include construction, energy and petrochemicals.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ANTHONY BAMFORD
Age: 67
Role: Chairman
Company: JCB
Country: UK
Revenues: €3.4 billion (2011)

It’s been a good year for the king of the yellow diggers, Sir Anthony Bamford. Under his watchful eye, JCB reported record-breaking revenues of €3.4 billion for 2011 – up more than 100% since 2009 – and Bamford expects an even better 2012. He’s also pushed expansion, particularly in China, Brazil and India.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

MAURO GILBERTO BELLINI
Age: 51
Role: President
Company: Marcopolo
Country: Brazil
Revenues: €1.2 billion (2011)

As president of Brazilian bus-maker Marcopolo, Mauro Gilberto Bellini can be credited with the international development of the company, which was founded by his father in 1949. Between 1996 and 2007, Bellini was tasked with developing Marcopolo’s operations in Africa and the Middle East. He joined the board of directors in 2008 and was elected president last year. The family business now manufactures 30,000 buses every year and has achieved revenue growth of more than 65% during the three-year period to the end of 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ALESSANDRO BENETTON
Age: 48
Role: Chairman
Company: Benetton Group
Country: Italy
Revenues: €2.0 billion (2011)

From the rough-and-tumble world of private equity, Alessandro Benetton is now trying to revamp the Benetton brand – a tall order, say analysts.
NOMINATED FOR: POTENTIAL

JEAN BURELLE
Age: 73
Role: Chairman and CEO
Company: Burelle
Country: France
Revenues: €4.2 billion (2011)

Jean Burelle spent more than 40 years working at his family’s holding company, which has interests in plastic, private equity and real estate. He proved his mettle as president of subsidiary Plastic Omnium between 1987 and 2001, developing the company through international growth and acquisitions, buying the likes of French Landry and Techni-Plaste Industrie. Due to his success, Burelle was promoted president of the overall group in 2001 and he has been behind its recent strong growth. Revenues rose by 72% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ANAND BURMAN
Age: 60
Role: Chairman
Company: Dabur India
Country: India
Revenues: €725 millon (2012*)

With a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry, fifth-generation Anand Burman played a crucial role in growing the family business, consumer goods company Dabur India. After setting up the firm’s pharmaceutical division, he was appointed company chairman in 2007. Since then, he has focused on turning the business into a multinational group – Dabur made its first-ever acquisition, of Hobi Kozmetik, a Turkish personal care group, in 2010, and has since bought Namaste Laboratories, a US firm specialising in hair care products, and the vitamin supplement division of Mumbai-based Ajanta Pharma. Revenues hit €725 million in 2012 – a 30% increase on the year before.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

MARILYN CARLSON NELSON
Age: 73
Role: Chairman
Company: Carlson
Country: US
Consolidated revenues: €3.4 billon (2011)

Marilyn Carlson Nelson has instilled a culture of corporate governance at the eponymous hospitality company. Those efforts were seen vividly last year in the form of succession with two next-gens – Geoffrey Gage and Wendy Nelson – joining the board. Soon after, Carlson Nelson named non-family Trudy Rautio as CEO. Daughter Diana Nelson will become chair this year.
NOMINATED FOR: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, SUCCESSION

ADRIANA CISNEROS
Age: 33
Role: Vice-chairman of the board
Company: Cisneros Group
Country: Venezuela

Third-gen Adriana Cisneros is credited with media conglomerate Cisneros Group’s huge success in the vast US Hispanic market and its move into the even bigger market of China. Her father spotted her business acumen early on, naming her future heir to his role as Cisneros’s chairman. She is currently vice-chairman of the board and director of strategy for the Cisneros Group and president of the Cisneros Foundation, the family’s charitable organisation created to improve education in Latin America.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

MARIE-CHRISTINE COISNE-ROQUETTE
Age: 56
Role: Chairwoman and CEO
Company: Sonepar
Country: France
Revenues: €14.7 billion (2011)

Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette continues to oversee strong revenue and profit growth at Sonepar. That’s largely down to her shrewd management skills.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

TIM COOPER
Age: 56
Role: Managing director and chief brewer
Company: Coopers Brewery
Country: Australia
Revenues: €145 million (2012*)

Tim Cooper was instrumental in bringing the Adelaide-based brewery back into family control after years of uncertainty and at the same time making it one of Australia’s most successful breweries. Lately, he’s concentrated on international growth, with Coopers buying America’s largest home brew brand, Mr Beer, last year.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

JEAN CHARLES & JEAN-FRANCOIS DECAUX
Age: 42, 53 respectively
Role: Co-CEOs
Company: JCDecaux
Country: France
Revenues: €2.5 billion (2011)

The Decaux brothers are behind big growth – JCDecaux has doubled in size in the last 10 years, making it the world’s biggest out-of-home advertising company. Although 2011 proved more difficult, with sales rising by just 4.8%, the brothers want to double the size of the business in the next 10 years through expansion.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

AXEL DUMAS
Age: 42
Role: Future co-CEO
Company: Hermès
Country: France
Revenues: €2.8 billion (2011)

Set to become co-chief executive in summer 2013, sixth-gen Axel Dumas has been hugely influential at Birkin bag-maker Hermès. He led its highly profitable leather division. After learning the ropes from non-family Patrick Thomas, Dumas will become sole CEO.
NOMINATED FOR: POTENTIAL

RICHARD EU
Age: 65
Role: CEO
Company: Eu Yan Sang
Country: Singapore
Revenues: €179.6 million (2012*)

Richard Eu pretty much single handily changed the fortunes of Eu Yan Sang, the healthcare company founded by his great-grandfather in 1879. Since he joined the family business in 1989, Eu has focused on modernising the firm, which specialises in traditional Chinese medicine. He developed new products and improved distribution, turning Eu Yan Sang into a well known and fast-growing healthcare company in Asia.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, ENTREPENEURSHIP

FERRUCIO FERRAGAMO
Age: 67
Role: Chairman
Company: Salvatore Ferragamo
Country: Italy
Revenues: €986.4 million (2011)

Ferruccio Ferragamo understands both the design and business side of the family firm. The fashion house has ridden the luxury sector boom well, and Ferragamo has instilled strong corporate governance.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

ANTOINE FIEVET
Age: 48
Role: Chairman and CEO
Company: Bel Group
Country: France
Revenues: €2.5 billon (2011)

The man behind Laughing Cow cheese has plenty to smile about. Not only has Antoine Fiévet overseen steady growth at France-based Bel despite austerity in most of Europe – revenues were up by 4.5% in 2011 – he was also awarded the IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award on behalf of the 148-year-old company in 2012. The fifth-gen has pushed aggressively into foreign markets – and the move appears to be paying off, with the company reporting double-digit rises in sales in Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific during the third quarter of 2012.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

BILL FORD
Age: 55
Role: Executive chairman
Company: Ford Motor
County: US
Revenues: €102.9 billion (2011)

The great-grandson of legendary company founder Henry Ford, Bill Ford has without doubt contributed to the carmaker’s success. In 2006, at a moment where the firm was struggling with huge losses, he made the decision to hire non-family Alan Mulally as CEO. Recently, Ford oversaw plans to restructure the company’s European operations and the launch of new lower-emissions vehicles, a successful move as rising oil prices has seen greater demand for greener cars.
NOMINATED FOR: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

WILLIAM FREUDENBERG
Age: 71
Role: Chairman of the board of partners
Company: Freudenberg Group
Country: Germany
Revenues: €6 billion (2011)

Fifth-generation Wolfram Freudenberg, who was appointed chairman of the family-controlled conglomerate in 2005, has done more than enough to offset growth difficulties stemming from Europe’s financial crisis. He has focused on expanding in India, China and Russia – and has made some worthwhile acquisitions in developed markets, buying Norway’s Vector Technology Group and US-based MedVenture Technology. Revenues rose 43% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ADI GODREJ
Age: 70
Role: Chairman
Company: Godrej Group
Country: India

A perennial on this list, Adi Godrej appears again due to his continuous ability to ensure the eponymous company grows strongly both domestically and internationally. He’s shown an uncanny ability to appoint professional managers who make a difference to the group’s subsidiaries.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

NICK HAYEK
Age: 58
Role: CEO
Company: Swatch Group
Country: Switzerland
Revenues: €5.9 billion (2011)

Second-gen Nick Hayek joined the Swatch Group, now the world’s largest watchmaker, in 1994 and became CEO in 2003. Under his tenure, the family business, which also owns the Omega and Longines brands, expanded into Asia and the US. Always looking for a good deal, last year Hayek acquired Swiss watch case-maker and fellow family business Simon et Membrez.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ABIGAIL JOHNSON
Age: 51
Role: President
Company: Fidelity Financial Services
Country: US

Often described as the most powerful woman in fund management, Abigail Johnson was named president of Fidelity Financial Services in 2012. It’s surely a clear indication the third-gen will one day replace her father, Ned Johnson, at the helm of Fidelity Investments.
NOMINATED FOR: POTENTIAL

LIM KOK THAY
Age: 62
Role: Chairman and CEO
Company: Genting Group
Country: Malaysua
Revenues: €4.9 billion (2011)

Lim Kok Thay is the man behind Genting Group’s staggering growth – revenues more than doubled between 2009 and 2011. The group is expanding in Asia and Australia.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

WILLIAM LAUDER
Age:
51
Role: Executive chairman
Company: Estée Lauder
Country: US
Revenues: €7.3 billon (2012*)

William Lauder has encouraged family members to be entrepreneurial, with third-gen Aerin recently launching a new brand with the backing of the family. He has also focused on succession planning – third-gen Jane was recently appointed global president and general manager of Darphin, one of the firm’s skincare brands.
NOMINATED FOR: ENTREPENURSHIP, SUCCESSION

NICOLA LEIBINGER-KAMMULLER
Age: 53
Role: President
Company: Trumpf Group
Country: Germany
Revenues: €2.33 billon (2012*)

Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller replaced her father, Berthold Leibinger, as president of the machine tool producer in 2005. Revenues at the Ditzingen-based business, which her father bought from founder Christian Trumpf, dropped significantly between 2008 and 2010, during the global downturn. But under Leibinger-Kammüller’s leadership the family business, one of the biggest toolmakers in the world, has seen a complete turnaround. Leibinger-Kammüller built on a strong rebound in 2010/2011, with revenues hitting €2.33 billion in its most recent fiscal year. Leibinger-Kammüller knows the business intimately, having worked in it her whole career, and is currently responsible for overall strategy, corporate communications and real estate and facilities.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ISOLDE & WILL LIEBHERR
Role: Vice-president and president of the board of directors
Company: Liebherr International
Country: Switzerland
Revenues: €8.3 billion (2011)

Brother and sister Willi and Isolde Liebherr have been managing the Swiss company since their father died in 1993. Through their joint efforts, they made sure the business grew steadily, with turnover at the company, which is fully controlled by the family, rising 10% in 2011 on the back of growth in eastern Europe and China. They also started succession planning last year, transferring some of their shares to their children and giving the third
generation more responsibility within the family business.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, SUCCESSION

JEAN MANE
Age: 58
Role: President and CEO
Company: Mane
Country: France
Revenues: €530.1 million (2011)

President and CEO Jean Mane has been instrumental in growing the eponymous fragrances and flavours company, with revenues jumping 51% between 2009 and 2011. The firm has several production sites across the world because Mane thinks the company needs to act like a local business to grow in international markets. His philosophy is paying off, and the group is strong in countries such as Indonesia and Japan.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ANTONIO & EMMA MARCEGAGLIA
Age: 49, 47 respectively
Role: CEOs
Company: Marceglia
Country: Italy
Revenues: €4.3 billion (2011)

Thanks greatly to the efforts of the two siblings, steelmaker Marcegaglia has seen a 71% increase in revenues in the three-year period ending 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

JOSE MAS
Age: 39
Role: CEO
Company: MasTec
Country: US
Revenues: €2.3 billion (2011)

Under José Mas’s leadership, revenues at MasTec jumped 86% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ELIODORO MATTE LARRAIN
Role: Chairman
Company: Empresas CMPC
Country: Chile
Revenues: €3.6 billion (2011)

Eliodoro Matte Larrain joined the pulp and paper family business in 1976. After being appointed CEO in 1981, he expanded the company through diversification and acquisitions. Today, under his chairmanship, the group is one of the world’s fastest growing family businesses – revenues rose by 53% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

LIZ MOHN
Age: 71
Role: Vice-chairwoman of the executive board
Company: Bertelsmann
Country: Germany
Revenues: €15.3 billion (2011)

As vice-chairwoman, fifth-gen Liz Mohn recently oversaw changes to the company’s legal structure, allowing the publishing business to bring in outside investors while ensuring the Mohn family retains control. The group also recently linked up with UK rival Pearson in a merger of publishing brands Penguin and Random House.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

PAWAN MUNJAL
Age: 58
Role: CEO and managing director
Country: India
Company: Hero MotoCorp
Revenues: €3.2 billion (2012*) 

Pawan Munjal has turned Hero MotoCorp into a global company. The family business saw revenues rise 48% between 2009 and 2011 and is today the world’s biggest manufacturer of motorcycles. He’s also planning expansion to Africa and Latin America, with assembly plants expected to open in Kenya, Nigeria and Colombia.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

HANS GEORG NADAR
Age: 51
Role: CEO and president
Company: Ottobock
Country: Germany
Revenues: €583.2 million (2011)

Professor Näder as he is popularly known has overseen steady growth at one of the world’s biggest producers of prosthetics – and the winner of CampdenFB’s 2012 family business of the year award. Näder has also brought in non-family managers in different divisions.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

RAJAN NANDA
Role: Chairman and joint managing director
Company: Escorts Group
Country: India
Revenues: €444.1 million (2011)

Rajan Nanda was appointed chairman of Escorts Group, which manufactures tractors and a range of construction equipment such as cranes and forklifts, in 1994. Under Nanda’s supervision, the group has seen fast growth – sales rose by 49% between 2009 and 2011. Nanda has led the company’s expansion into new markets. The group, which has also linked up with a number of international firms, has recently improved professionalism, with the hiring of a number of non-family members to head its units.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, ENTREPENEURSHIP

ADDALLAH OBEIKAN
Role: CEO
Company: Obeikan Industrial Investment Group
Country: Saudi Arabia
Revenues: €583.7 million (2011)

Abdallah Obeikan became CEO of his family’s conglomerate in 2000. Under his tenure, the group, which spans paper to packaging, publishing and e-learning services, is rapidly expanding in the Middle East – revenues increased by 33% between 2009 and 2011, and the firm recently launched a glass-making business. Thanks to Obeikan’s efforts, the family conglomerate also increased transparency about its financial results.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, CORPORATE GOVERANCE

ENRIQUE PESCAMONA
Age: 71
Role: President and CEO
Company: Impsa
Country: Argentina
Revenues: €763.2 million (2011*)
*11 months to 31 December 2011 

Third-gen Enrique Pescarmona has overseen huge growth at South American energy business Impsa – revenues increased by 100% between 2009 and 2011. He’s taken a very entrepreneurial approach to running the firm, venturing into new markets and sectors. He’s also strong on succession planning – three of his children work for Impsa and another for the family’s winery.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, CORPORATE GOVERANCE

GRANDHI MALLIKARJUNA RAO
Age: 62
Role: Chairman
Company: GMR Group
Country: India
Revenues: €1.2 billion

Thanks to the efforts of founder and chairman GM Rao, the family-controlled infrastructure group has continued to grow strongly and expand internationally – revenues were up 65% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

GULER SABANCI
Age:
57
Role: Chairwoman
Company: Sabanci Holding
Country: Turkey
Revenues: €9.66 billion (2011) 

Few family business leaders have played such a crucial role in the economic development of their country than Güler Sabanci, the chairwoman of the eponymous conglomerate. Sabanci has overseen rapid growth at the family business, whose operations span banking, retail and energy, since she took the job as chairperson in 2004. Most big foreign businesses wanting a foothold in Turkey’s economy will want an audience with Sabanci, such is her power.

LINO SAPUTO
Age:
45
Role: CEO and vice-chairman
Company: Saputo
Country: Canada
Revenues: €5.3 billion (2012*)

Third-generation Lino Saputo Jr replaced his father, Emanuele, at the helm of the dairy company in 2004. He’s made his mark pretty rapidly in terms of growth, with revenues rising 15% in fiscal 2012. Last year, he appointed non-family member Dino Dello Sbarba as president and COO of the group and was behind the acquisition of Morningstar, a dairy subsidiary of US-based company Dean Foods.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

OLIVER SCHOLZ
Age: 42
Role: CEO
Company: Scholz Group
Country: Germany
Revenues: €5.3 billion (2011) 

The fifth generation of the Scholz family to run the Essingen-based metal recycling company, Oliver Scholz has led the family business through a period of strong growth. Over the last 10 years, Scholz Group has made acquisitions in eastern Europe and North America, such as Almex in Poland and CMA in the US, becoming one of the industry’s top players. After a sharp fall in revenues in 2009, the company recovered quickly, with turnover jumping more than 120% from 2009 to 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ATUL SHAH
Age:
51
Role: Managing director
Company: Nakumatt
Country: Kenya
Revenues: €340.4 million (2012*)

A great example of an entrepreneur, Atul Shah transformed his family’s business into a retail powerhouse. His focus now is on expanding into new markets – and getting the next generation involved in the Kenyan company. Between 2009 and 2011, Shah oversaw impressive revenue growth of 49%.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, ENTREPENEURSHIP

STEVE SHEETZ
Role:
Chairman
Company: Sheetz
Country: US
Revenues: €4 billion (2011)

With almost three decades at the helm of the company, started by his brother Bob as a dairy store in 1952, Steve Sheetz can take credit for the firm’s steady growth, having overseen the opening of numerous stores across America. But Sheetz is also nurturing the next generation – he recently announced second-gen Stan will succeed him as chairman, while his other brother Joe will serve as CEO. Sheetz himself will become chairman of the family council.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, SUCCESSION

LUIZA HELENA TRAJANO RODRIGUES
Age: 64
Role: President
Company: Magazine Luiza
Country: Brazil
Revenues: €2.3 billion (2011)

Brazil’s breakneck economic growth might be slowing down, but Luiza Helena Trajano Inácio Rodrigues, a frequent adviser to President Dilma Rousseff, isn’t letting that get her down. Indeed, she says her target customers – the lower middle class – are still shopping. And the figures bear that out – sales at Magazine Luiza were up 15% during the third quarter of 2012, compared with the same period in 2011. Trajano knows the business well having first begun working at Magazine Luiza aged 12, when it was still a small store run by her aunt. She’s grown it into a massive powerhouse – making it one of Brazil’s largest retailers. Revenues grew more than 90% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

ARUNACHALAM VELLAYAN
Age: 59
Role: Executive chairman
Company: Murugappa Group
Country: India
Revenues: €3.1 billion (2012*)  

Under fourth-gen Arunachalam Vellayan’s watchful eye, the Murugappa Group has expanded through acquisitions – and revenues grew by 64% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH

MIKKEL VESTERGARD FRANDSEN
Age: 39
Role: CEO
Company: Vestergaard Frandsen
Country: Switzerland

Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, who describes himself as a “first-generation owner of a third-generation company”, is doing good business by doing good. Having turned his family’s textile firm into a successful social enterprise, he recently launched a carbon credit initiative, which aims to bring clean water to millions of people in Kenya.
NOMINATED FOR: ENTREPENEURSHIP

MANFRED WITTENSTEIN
Age: 70
Role: President
Company: Wittenstein
Country: Germany
Revenues: €233 million (2012*)

Second-gen Manfred Wittenstein took over the family business more than 30 years ago. It was originally a small company producing sewing machines but as demand waned Wittenstein spotted an opportunity in the fast-growing technology sector. He turned the firm into an innovative engineering company, making specialised computer drive and electro-mechanic products. Wittenstein focuses intensely on product development and meeting the needs of increasingly demanding computer systems. The company has notched up some impressive growth rates, with revenue increasing 70% between fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2012.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH, ENTREPENEURSHIP

FRANCIS YEOH
Age: 58
Role: Managing director
Company: YTL Corporation
Country: Malaysia
Revenues: €5 billion (2012*)

Francis Yeoh joined his father’s construction firm in 1978 and took the helm in 1988. Yeoh’s shrewdness in buying bargains and keeping plenty of cash in the business to make acquisitions is legendary. He has made infrastructure conglomerate YTL one of Malaysia’s largest companies, with revenue growth of more than 125% between 2009 and 2011.
NOMINATED FOR: GROWTH 

* Fiscal year revenues are marked with an asterix

Some images copyrighted to Press Association, Alessandra Catavero, Reuters, Wittenstein

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