The FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business awards this year celebrate their ninth year. Launched in the heat of the global financial crisis in 2008, the awards have lived up to their name in every respect.
In 2016, the world is still suffering from the aftershocks of the crisis. Central banks are entering unchartered waters as they experiment with negative interest rates and other unconventional monetary measures designed to restore growth and stability.
At the same time, technological innovation and computing power are driving change across all business sectors at a speed which is difficult to comprehend. The auto industry, financial services, media and retail are all experiencing disruption and upheaval, opening up opportunities for insurgents and outsiders.
These forces are reflected in the choice of candidates and winners from all corners of the globe. Call it the triumph of technology. In several instances the common theme is that technology is less a disruptive force and more an “enabler” for people to be bold in their businesses.
What is also striking is how this year’s winners combine established companies such as Toyota of Japan (winner of the Corporate Responsibility and Environment category) with relatively youthful but immensely powerful digital champions such as Tencent of China and Amazon Web Services of the US.
The quality of submissions this year has been high, underlining how the FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business awards rank as best in category. In almost every case, companies were seen to be making bold and imaginative decisions in exceptionally challenging circumstances.
It remains for me to thank my fellow judges — Robert Armstrong, head of the Financial Times’ Lex column, Edward Bonham Carter, vice-chairman of Jupiter Fund Management, Leo Johnson, partner at PwC, Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, Anne Méaux, president and founder of Image Sept, Peter Tufano, professor of finance as well as the Peter Moores dean at Saïd Business School, and, of course, my co-chair Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal.
• Lionel Barber
Editor of the Financial Times
• Lakshmi Mittal
Chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker
• Anne Méaux
Founder and president of Image Sept, a Paris-based public affairs and media relations consultancy
• Robert Armstrong
Head of the Lex column at the Financial Times
• Edward Bonham Carter
Vice-chairman of Jupiter Fund Management
• Leo Johnson
PwC partner and co-presenter of BBC Radio 4 series FutureProofing
• Luke Johnson, Chairman of private equity group Risk Capital Partners
• Peter Tufano, Professor of finance and Peter Moores dean at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford