The overall topic of the 2010 BEB awards was "Paths to a successful European business model". We honored German companies and managers who have remained strong despite the crisis and pursued a successful path.
||Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht
||Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, CEO of BASF SE, received the prize for best "European Manager". The jury stated that he had succeeded in positioning BASF SE as the world's leading chemicals company, with approximately 104,000 employees and production sites in all key markets worldwide. By transforming BASF AG into a European Company or Societas Europeas (SE) in 2008, he created one of the biggest companies in Europe without losing sight of its origins: As Vice-President of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), Hambrecht campaigned tirelessly for Germany as a strong European industrial location.
||The award for "Strong leadership" went to Hartmut Ostrowski, CEO of Bertelsmann AG, Europe's largest media group. The jury drew attention to the many bold decisions made by Ostrowski: the courage to send out a clear message in the economic crisis by having the Board waive their bonuses in 2009. The courage to employ a decentralized management structure fostering independent management and employee decisions. The courage to take on responsibility in difficult times – the company guaranteed all trainees in 2009 a job at the end of their training period and continued its multiple award-winning recruiting initiative "Create your own Career" with undiminished intensity. And finally, the courage to make cuts where necessary, such as selling its stake in the music business Sony BMG and the American book club due to a lack of growth prospects. In 2009, Bertelsmann also carried out the biggest cost-cutting program in the history of the company, with a total volume of EUR 900 million, while at the same time maintaining or even improving the company's leading market positions.
|Growth despite crisis - large companies
||In the category "Growth despite crisis" for large companies, Dr. Herbert Lütkestratkötter accepted the award on behalf of HOCHTIEF Aktiengesellschaft in his role as CEO. According to the jury, HOCHTIEF – one of the leading international providers of construction-related services with more than 64,000 employees worldwide and a sales volume of EUR 18.7 billion in FY 2008 – survived the economic crisis so well by changing its strategy at the right moment. Today, HOCHTIEF delivers integrated services along the complete lifecycle of infrastructure projects, real estate and industrial plants and is expanding its presence in international growth markets. At the end of Q3/2009, the company had a record order backlog, ensuring a forward order book of almost 21 months. Overall, in crisis year 2009 HOCHTIEF expects a contract value exceeding that of the previous year.
|Growth despite crisis
||Symrise AG, represented by CEO Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, won the award in the category "Growth despite crisis" for medium-sized companies (revenues up to EUR 5 billion). The jury drew attention to the company's stable revenue growth of 4% from Q3/2008 to Q3/2009 and its 10% increase in earnings (EBITDA). Symrise AG – a listed producer of flavors and fragrances as well as basic and active ingredients for cosmetics, whose sales of EUR 1.319 billion in 2008 made it one of the four biggest players in the industry worldwide – managed to increase its market share significantly despite the difficult environment. The figures for sales, EBIT and net earnings have been better than forecast since Q2, indicating that customers have been running down stocks and are now ready to place new orders.