Britain’s most admired companies to offer business insights at Leeds Beckett
Gina Boswell, General Manager at Unilever, and Peter France, CEO of manufacturing company, Rotork, are set to deliver guest lectures as part of the Britain’s Most Admired Companies 2016 lecture series at Leeds Beckett in June.
On Friday 1 June, Peter France will deliver a lecture focusing on the importance of a company’s culture, whilst on Thursday 30 June, Gina Boswell will explore how to maintain a company’s reputation. Both of the public lectures take place at the Rose Bowl from 6pm to 7pm.
The Britain’s Most Admired Companies survey, now in its 25th year and managed by Professor Mike Brown at Leeds Beckett, is the only academic study of its kind in the UK, measuring companies’ reputational success based on the perceptions of its peers: business leaders and city analysts in Britain. It is published every year in Management Today.
In the survey, Professor Brown canvasses the opinions of 200 of the UK’s largest companies across 25 sectors. Participants are asked to rate their sector rivals using nine criteria, including the quality of its marketing, its financial performance and the strength of its management team. Respondents are also asked to name their most admired leader.
In December 2015, consumer brands giant Unilever was announced as the country’s most admired company in the annual survey of Britain’s Most Admired Companies. Unilever has appeared in the top 20 every year since the study began in 1990, taking the top prize previously in 2010.
Gina Boswell leads Unilever’s UK and Ireland business, taking responsibility for the company’s fourth largest market. Previously, she led Unilever’s multibillion dollar personal care division in North America and was responsible for its market-leading skin, hair and deodorant products.
Gina was recognised as a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age, a major source of news and comment for the global marketing and media community. Women’s Wear Daily, a leading authority on news and trends in the worlds of fashion, beauty and retail, ranked Gina among its “50 Most Influential People in Beauty” and also named her “Marketer of the Year”. Cosmetic Executive Women, a forum for professionals working in the beauty industry, placed her in its “Top 50 2015 Brand Innovator” list and also crowned her “Achiever of the Year”.
Rotork has been identified as the most admired manufacturer for each of the last five years of the Britain’s Most Admired Companies survey and Peter’s talk, entitled The Importance of a Company’s Culture, will provide insight into Rotork’s success.
Peter joined Rotork in 1989 as an Inside Sales Engineer before becoming an International Area Sales Manager for territories in Europe, the Middle East and India. He was appointed to the main board of Rotork plc in 2006, and he became Chief Operating Officer of the group in October 2007. Peter was promoted to Group Chief Executive in May 2008.
Speaking ahead of the lectures, Professor Christopher Prince, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law and Pro Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett, said: “Our Britain’s Most Admired Companies 2016 lecture series offers the chance to hear business leaders from a range of backgrounds share their expertise around developments and key issues of relevance to business and professional practice.
“The lectures are open to our students and those in business, providing a valuable professional networking opportunity and we are very much looking forward to hearing from both Gina and Peter as they offers us an insight into their continued success.”
Speaking about the Britain’s Most Admired Companies survey, Professor Mike Brown said: “Like individuals, companies have personalities and reputations. A company’s reputation is based on how people think and feel about a company. The survey attempts to capture the tacit knowledge of these two key constituent groups whose jobs rely on their knowing about other companies within the industry sector.
“It is the company senior executives and the city investment analysts who should know about these companies and the research attempts to gather their perceptions across a series of characteristics that when added together provides a measure of the reputation of the company.”
In February 2016, Professor Brown presented his extensive research, drawing on 25 years of his annual Britain’s Most Admired Companies survey and his co-authored book The Admirable Company, as part of his professorial inaugural lecture as Professor of Corporate Reputation and Strategy at Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University.
Professor Brown joined Leeds Business School in March 2015 having spent 18 years at Nottingham Business School and, most recently, five years at Birmingham City Business School. His research began as part of his MBA dissertation and developed through his collaboration with Management Today.