Celebrating 2011’s CEO of the Year Alan Mulally

In July, more than 200 CEOs gathered at the New York Stock Exchange to honor Ford Motor Company’s CEO, Alan Mulally as Chief Executive magazine’s CEO of the Year. Mulally was the 26th CEO to receive the award, joining the ranks of such luminaries as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, GE’s Jack Welch and Intel’s Andy Grove. Chosen for the honor by a panel of CEO peers, Mulally stood out among the year’s final contenders for achieving a seemingly insurmountable challenge—bringing the American icon back from the brink of bankruptcy, noted Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto and outgoing CEO of the Year, in presenting the award.

Grant echoed the thoughts of many in the crowd that night when he praised Alan Mulally for “using adversity in tough times as a springboard for innovation” and “balancing the needs of owners, employees, customers and stakeholders at large.”

NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer also called out Mulally’s pursuit of innovation in the face of both a precarious financial situation internally and global economic uncertainty—conditions that might well have sent others running for the hills. Ford could have acted like a car company and simply introduced a new car, he said, “but Alan said, ‘We’re more than a car company, we’re a technology company.’”

In receiving the honor, Mulally noted that he was accepting the recognition on behalf of everyone at Ford Motor Company. He went on to acknowledge that the business community continues to face a challenging environment, but urged today’s leaders to persevere. “There has never been a time in history when CEOs were needed more than today,” said Mulally. “Leadership is so important and so needed in so many areas—economic development, energy independence and security, environmental sustainability. It’s an honor to be here tonight and to serve with the CEOs who continue to provide economic growth, great opportunities and great careers.”

Celebrating 2011 CEO of the Year

The NYSE Euronext

Ethan Allen’s Farooq Kathwari, Biglari Holdings’ Sadar Biglari, Biglari Holdings’ Dr. Phil Cooley

Gabelli Asset Management’s Mario Gabell

Joan and Bill Hickey of Sealed Air

Presdo’s Eric Ly

International Flavors & Fragrances’ Douglas Tough, Havas Worldwide’s David Jones, Ernst & Young’s Sam Fouad

NYSE Euronext’s Duncan Niederauer, Chief Executive Group’s Marshall Cooper, Ford’s Alan Mulally, Chief Executive’s J.P. Donlon, Monsanto’s Hugh Grant, Chief Executive Group’s Wayne Cooper

NCR’s Bill Nuti, NCR’s Gary Daichendt and MetLife’s C. Robert Henrikson with his wife, Mary

Entertainment Media Management’s Sandy Climan

Bausch & Lomb’s Fred Hassan with his wife, Noreen

Enterprise Holding’s Pam Nicholson

Marsh & McLennan’s Brian Dupereault, Snap-on’s Nick Pinchuk, EnerSys’ John Craig

Uniworld’s Byron Lewis

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