Nestlé boss awarded accolade for services to management and leadership

  • Dame Fiona Kendrick presented with CMI President's Gold Medal
  • IT pioneer and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley recognised with lifetime achievement award

Dame Fiona Kendrick, chairman of Nestlé UK & Ireland, has received the Chartered Management Institute President's Gold Medal, the professional body's top honour for outstanding business leaders.

Dame Stephanie 'Steve' Shirley's pioneering accomplishments as a ground-breaking IT entrepreneur and philanthropist have earned her CMI's Lifetime Achievement Award – the first time it has been presented to a woman.

Both Dames were handed their awards by CMI President Bruce Carnegie-Brown at the organisation's annual dinner before an audience of over 250 senior business leaders and other representatives from the field of professional management and leadership.

Fiona Kendrick became the first woman to be appointed chief executive of Nestlé UK in 2012, and was subsequently named chairman of UK & Ireland in 2017. In 2015, Kendrick was created Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to the food industry and for her support for skills and opportunities for young people.

It is a great honour for me to accept this Gold Medal Award. This is recognition, not just for me, but for Nestlé and the whole food industry in demonstrating just how important our sector is in driving employment and training opportunities for young people.

At Nestlé, we have a long track record for helping young people into work, teaching new skills and kick starting careers. We take great pride in our work in this space and it is always very pleasing to be recognised for it. I'd like to thank the CMI and look forward to continuing our work together and inspiring future generations.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, chairman of Nestlé UK & Ireland

The Queen appointed Dame Shirley as a Companion of Honour in 2017 – one of only 65. The award was made for “nationally important service” – for her contribution as an IT entrepreneur and philanthropist. She received the CMI's Gold Medal in 1991, marking her as a pioneer of computing, heading an early software house that she set up for women - 297 of the first 300 staff were female.

I'm delighted to recognise Dames Fiona and Stephanie for their outstanding leadership. By any measure, Fiona has had a remarkable career and her commitment to skills development makes her a worthy winner of our Gold Award. Dame Stephanie is just as energetic and engaged today as she was 25 years ago when we awarded her our Gold medal, so I'm delighted to present her with the CMI's Lifetime Achievement award. They are pioneering women who are blazing a trail for many others to follow in their footsteps.

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, CMI President

CMI's Gold Medal Award has been running for nearly 40 years and recognises high-achieving leaders, with recent awards going to business figures such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Dame Carolyn McCall DBE, the CEO of EasyJet; Jimmy Wales, founder and CEO of Wikipedia; and most recently Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.

The annual President's Dinner, at which the Gold Medal Award is officially presented, celebrates the positive social impact that management and leadership excellence makes.

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