Why David Novak?

David Novak, Farooq Kathwari, Ram Charan

Meeting at the NYSE in New York City, members of the 2012 CEO of the Year selection committee culled from a highly competitive field in selecting this year’s honoree. In the end, they identified Novak’s sustained performance and the high level of employee engagement, leadership development and strategic alignment of the company and its people as distinguishing elements. The company’s innovativeness in establishing its brands so vigorously in emerging markets also impressed his peers. Comments from the judges follow.

“David Novak is a very well-grounded CEO who is a passionate driver of outstanding results, which he has delivered over a long period.”
—Fred Hassan, chairman, Bausch & Lomb and senior partner, Warburg Pincus

Not only is David laser-focused on what customers want and value, but he has developed a compelling vision and a comprehensive strategy. And he follows that up with relentless implementation.”
—Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor and 2011 Chief Executive of the Year

“David has been the driving force since the company’s inception. It’s clear his early focus on emerging markets has paid off. Also, throughout his tenure, he has maintained a wonderful sense of humility during his leadership that adds to his ability to engage his people.”
—Jim Turley, chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young

“His performance has been outstanding for a very long time. He has an outstanding global vision, China being a salient example; but more importantly, I am impressed with how he works with his employees and how he develops their potential. It is an example to us all.“
—Brian Duperreault, president and CEO, Marsh & McLennan

“David Novak exhibits many of the qualities one expects from a top CEO—strong performance over time, close attention on people and innovation. In addition, he retains a sense of humility throughout the whole process.”
—Bill Hickey, president and CEO, Sealed Air

“An exemplary CEO whose leadership is worth emulating.”
—Christine Jacobs, chairman, president and CEO, Theragenics

“A successful entrepreneur and risk taker and an inspired manager of people.”
—Tom Quinlan III, president and CEO, R.R. Donnelly

“He is the leadership antidote that PepsiCo was looking for when they had to reverse strategy and needed someone to liberate the potential of these brands. Everyone who works with him reveres him.”
—Jeff Sonnenfeld, president and CEO, The Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Yale School of Management

“Beyond his 10-plus years of success as a CEO, he has a track record of 26 years with that same company, climbing the proverbial corporate ladder. Through all of this, he has had an indelible impact on that company and its people, managing to earn the respect and admiration of all the key stakeholders: shareholders, the board, employees, managers and suppliers. It’s extraordinary.”
—Bill Nuti, chairman, CEO and president, NCR


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