About us

Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year award program was founded to identify and recognize outstanding leadership and achievement by a Canadian Chief Executive Officer.

This highly respected award honours an executive in Canadian business who exemplifies integrity, insists upon excellence, earns the trust of others and has built a globally competitive organization.

The honoree is selected by a distinguished advisory board comprised of eminent business leaders based on the following criteria:

Vision and Leadership

The nominee must have demonstrated vision and leadership over several years. This includes specific situations or initiatives where the nominee’s insight, discernment and ability to lead and inspire has guided his or her organization to a new level of growth, achievement or recognition.

Corporate Performance

Financial information is an important indicator of success. The Advisory Board will examine financial statistics for the nominee's organization for the past five fiscal years. Leadership in board governance policy and procedure will also be assessed.

Global Competitiveness

Global competitiveness details any international initiatives undertaken by the nominee. This may involve situations where the nominee has foreseen potential new markets abroad, enhanced operations in other countries, set up foreign ventures or expanded the organization's affairs internationally. It is important to recognize any internal or external barriers to this global expansion, and strategies used by the nominee to overcome them. For organizations that are primarily domestic in scope but operate on a world-class level, performance will be compared with that of global competitors in the same sector/industry.

Innovative Business Achievements

How is the nominee's organization unique or innovative in its relationships with its employees and its customers? What are its major products and/or services? Why is it unique and how has it demonstrated excellence in its field?

Social Responsibility

In addition to corporate performance and innovation, a truly outstanding CEO uses his or her private sector skills and creativity to help the community overcome social or environmental problems.

Number one

We would like to acknowledge the late William McElcheran and his contribution to Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year® award program. One of Canada’s foremost figurative sculptors, Mr McElcheran often looked to the business world for artistic inspiration. His satirical figure, the businessman, has become a well-known character here in Canada and abroad.

On the occasion of the presentation of the 1991 Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year award, William McElcheran was approached to create a sculpture that would capture the spirit and meaning of this award. The resulting work, appropriately titled Number One, has become a symbol for this prestigious award program and the values it represents.

William McElcheran courtesy of Kinsman Robinson Galleries
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