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Phil Couchman Announced As National Business Awards Finalist

In the running for the Leader of The Year Award

Vote for your favourite Leader at

Winner to be revealed at the gala dinner and award ceremony on 12 November 2013

Phil Couchman, CEO of DHL Express UK & Ireland has been shortlisted for the Leader of the Year Award for the 2013 National Business Awards. Couchman has had 30 years of industry experience at DHL, leading global operations in the Middle East, Latin America, and South Africa. He now operates in the UK and Ireland which manages 4,300 employees and 1,500 vehicles across 85 strategic locations. As part of his goal to meet every colleague, Couchman went back to the floor by appearing on Channel 4’s ‘Undercover Boss’ – where he got firsthand access to employees on the ground and used the experience to implement changes for the future of the company.

He will be up against four other high profile business leaders including: Richard Cousins, CEO of Compass Group, Harriet Green, CEO of Thomas Cook, Valerie Soranno Keating, CEO of Barclaycard and Mike Tobin, CEO of TelecityGroup.

Couchman said; “I am delighted to have been nominated for this prestigious Award and be recognised for leading the business through challenging economic times and my commitment to DHL’s employees. The National Business Awards provide a great platform to celebrate excellence in British business and I’m proud to be going up against four extremely impressive leaders for this award.”

The winner will be chosen by a combination of a public vote and a peer ballot of around 40 CEOs and business thought leaders. These judges include well-known industry names such as: Kanya King, CEO of the MOBO Organisation, Anthony Salz, Executive Vice-Chairman, NM Rothschild, Baroness Virginia Bottomley of Nettlestone, and Joe Lynam, the BBC’s Business Economics Correspondent. They will meet on 31 October to view video interviews of each candidate and vote for their favourite. Members of the public can vote by visiting and choosing their preferred candidate online. The winner will be revealed on 12 November at the Award ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane.

The Leader of the Year Award recognises the personal imprint of the UK’s most high profile leaders on the culture and success of their organisations and the industries they operate in. Judges look at how these leaders have demonstrated the best balance between traditional board values and the new business environment – achieving measured and sustainable growth or driving improved performance. When considering the finalists’ achievements judges consider aspects including robust strategies, staff engagement, financial performance, customer insight and collaboration.

Alex Evans, Programme Director of the National Business Awards said: ”Reflecting the diversity of organisations recognised by the National Business Awards each year, these finalists are champions of their respective industries – transforming culture and performance against a challenging economic backdrop. They have all demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities in the successful execution of their strategic vision.”

Dame Helen Alexander, Chair of judges for the National Business Awards, said: “The five finalists show outstanding qualities as leaders, with each having achieved something exceptional in their fields. Their leadership styles differ, so it’s interesting to see how they all achieve such significant results. Congratulations and good luck.”

Previous winners of the award include Peter Marks, CEO of the Cooperative Group (2009), Martin McCourt, Former CEO Dyson (2010), Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO MITIE Group (2011) and last year’s winner, Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK & Ireland (2012).

Over 150 of Britain’s leading businesses, business leaders and social enterprises have recently been revealed as finalists for the 2013 National Business Awards. The finalists represent categories including the Croner Employer of the Year, the Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year, Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year and the QBE FTSE 100 Business of the Year.

Visit for a full list of all finalists and to book a table at the event.

The National Business Awards supports the Prince’s Trust, a charity that offers practical and financial support to young people who need it.