The Grocer Cup for Outstanding Business Achievement is one of the industry's top accolades. It is given to an individual who has inspired exceptional results and made the biggest contribution to the industry in the past year. And it's a special award because the winner is chosen by readers of The Grocer. Once you have selected your winning candidate, you can register your vote by phone or online. But don't delay - your vote must be cast by Friday 15 September.
Here is the shortlist of this year's ten outstanding top executives. We are looking for the individual you think has set the pace for the industry as a whole in the past year, based on the following criteria:
Meeting tough targets and taking their organisation to higher levels of efficiency, service or profitability;
Having the personality, tenacity and charisma to inspire others to higher levels of success;
Influencing beyond the boundaries of their own company and innovating in a way that changes the way we all do business.
Register your vote by calling
01293 846535 or online at
edwin booth Booths
As chairman of the eponymous chain in northern England, Booth continues to deliver industry-beating sales figures. As a regional player, the company punches above its weight, not least because it is widely respected for quality and provenance. The £1.75m revamp of its flagship Lakes Food Store in Keswick, Cumbria, has led to local sourcing playing an even greater role.
Gianni ciserani Procter & Gamble
The vice president of P&G pulled off one of the biggest deals last year with the acquisition of Gillette, creating the world's biggest stable of brands and making P&G one of the most powerful names in grocery. Since then Ciserani, who runs the UK and Ireland business, has been outspoken on key industry issues, including damaging price promotions.
Steven esom waitrose
Waitrose's MD has put the chain in pole position to capitalise on the UK's new-found desire for premium foods, as well as fighting against a resurgent M&S and Sainsbury's. In March, Waitrose acquired five stores from Somerfield, with its first two in Scotland an overwhelming success. Its impressive year resulted in sales up 13% (like-for-likes up 4%) and profits up 19%.
Justin king sainsbury's
It was a big job but Sainsbury's chief executive has consolidated those early signs of recovery. In June, King announced the sixth consecutive quarter of growth, with like-for-like sales for the first quarter up 5.7% - Sainsbury's best result since Christmas 2002. Sales have risen £1bn since he launched his Making Sainsbury Great Again strategy and morale in stores is riding high.
sir terry leahy Tesco
Tesco's boss has again proved his leadership credentials this year. In the face of mounting criticism of Tesco's power, Sir Terry has done what he always does and tackled the issue head on, launching a wide-ranging community action plan designed to make it a better corporate neighbour. Add this to a consistently strong performance and no wonder Sir Terry is in our 2006 list.
stuart rose Marks & spencer
Rose has put the M&S food business firmly back in the spotlight. Strong sales speak for themselves but it is leadership in health, ethics and NPD that show M&S is where it should be - at the forefront of food trends. But that's not all: Rose has not shied away from speaking out on issues such as labelling and advertising, proving to be a campaigner for industry as well as consumers.
robert schofield Premier foods
It's been Schofield's year. Having recovered from the Sudan 1 crisis - emerging unscathed with shares virtually untouched - he has dealt with a fire at the Branston factory and bought Marlow Foods for £172m and Cauldron for £27m. Now, with the £450m acquisition of Campbell Soup Co's UK and Irish businesses, Schofield has catapulted his company into the premier league.
tim steiner Ocado
Steiner, the founder and CEO of Ocado, has proved this year that the much maligned warehouse-based online model works. Claiming the number two position after Tesco, Ocado has seen average basket sizes rise £4 year-on-year to £105, with orders hitting the 50,000 a week mark. The service now covers 40% of the country and is a regular star performer in The Grocer's online survey.
malcolm walker Iceland foods
What a year for the Iceland boss. A series of disposals rationalised the chain from 749 to 675 stores as Walker pursued his back-to-basics strategy. After taking the knife to product lines and the advertising budget, as well as dealing with a strike at the Deeside DC, Walker has got the brand back into shape, sales are up and he is now on the lookout for stores again.
jonathan warburton warburtons
Under this chairman, the fortunes of the 130-year-old family company have risen, thanks to a strategy of cautious expansion and a knack for producing the best bread in the business. The UK's biggest wrapped bread brand by value, at 26.6% of the market [ACNielsen], the decision to double production at Enfield by January will take it from 80% to near-nationwide penetration.