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BSkyB is Britain's most admired company 2009

2nd December 2009

At Management Today's glitzy awards bash in London, BSkyB was named as this year's Most Admired Company.

The great and good of UK plc were in attendance at Claridges in London tonight to see BSkyB scoop MT's coveted 'Britain's Most Admired Company' award for 2009. CEO Jeremy Darroch was on hand to pick up the top prize from Haymarket chairman Lord Heseltine, as Sky became our youngest ever winner - the award comes just 20 years into its existence.

Meanwhile there was also recognition for Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco - still Britain's Most Admired Leader - and the likes of Johnson Matthey, Cadbury and GlaxoSmithKline. According to their competitors, these are the companies that are best-placed to ride out the current storm...

MT's annual 'Britain's Most Admired Companies' awards are based on a peer review survey conducted by Professor Mike Brown of Birmingham City Business School. the votes are cast by the people that know these companies best - their competitors. BSkyB which took fourth place last year, inched ahead of Tesco and Johnson Matthey to become Britain's best-regarded public company. It's an impressive achievement for such a relatively young business, not least because the media industry as a whole has had such a rotten year, indeed none of Sky's rivals got within thirty points of it.

'BSkyB has shown that a class-leading product, well marketed and slickly delivered, can continue to grow and prosper even in the most challenging circumstances,' said MT editor Matthew Gwyther. 'But perhaps its greatest achievement is the transition from being a new kid on the block and awkward industry outsider to winning over a jury of peers and becoming the UK’s most admired company.'

Around 70 CEOs, chairman and senior execs from the shortlisted BMAC companies gathered for tonight's bash. Former Bank of England deputy governor Sir John Gieve provided the entertainment, regaling the guests with behind-the-scenes tales from Threadneedle Street - including why he thought the BoE job might turn out to be 'a bit dull' (not so much), how he didn't 'bang the table enough' when the banks told him about their flawless risk management systems, and why he thinks an international monitoring body is the way forward.

But there was no doubt about the night's big winner: BSkyB is officially Britain's Most Admired. So where does it go from here? 'Now it has to move onto the next phase – out of adolescence and into maturity,' reckons Gwyther. 'The next couple of years will be crucial to BSkyB’s long-term future. But in the meantime it can bask in some deserved glory.'

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