CMI Awards of excellence

Gold Medal Award

What is the Gold Medal Award

The Gold Medal has been awarded since 1980 and is the award given by CMI for the recognition of outstanding management and leadership from an individual at the pinnacle of their career. Each year, our Gold Medal Award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond within Management and Leadership.

The Gold Medal Award entrants are nominated by the Chartered Management Institute's Board of Companions, and represents the ultimate award for Managers and Leaders.

James Timpson Winner 2023

Gold Medal Award Winner 2023

James has been Chief Executive of the Timpson Group since 2002, helping the business grow to over 2100 shops and developing several innovative ways to run the business at a time when traditional High Street retailing has suffered.

“The key to the growth of the business has been our continual development of the culture of Upside Down Management. A culture based on trust and kindness works when we recruit colleagues with an amazing personality.” At Timpson everyone is equal, and it is James’s job to ensure his colleagues are happy in their jobs.

James pioneered the recruitment of ex-offenders, to the extent that Timpson now employs over 600 prison leavers (this is over 10% of the Company). James is Chair of the Prison Reform Trust and supports various prison charities and support groups, and was presented with an OBE in 2011 for the training and employment of disadvantaged people. His passion and enthusiasm for business, people, and the wider community was recognised in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List, where he was awarded an OBE for 'Services to Training and Employment for Disadvantaged People'.

The CMI Board of Trustees reviewed a stellar group of nominees for the 2023 Gold Medal. The Board would like to recognise James Timpson for his outstanding leadership, enabling the rapid expansion and diversification of Timpson shops and retail outlets. The board were significantly impressed by James’s work pioneering the recruitment of ex-offenders, upside down culture and equality.

James Timpson - CMI Gold Medal Award Winner

James Timpson

Gold Medal Award Winner 2022

Dame Sharon White became the John Lewis Partnership's sixth Chairman in February 2020. Sharon moved from Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator, where she served as Chief Executive for approaching five years.

Before joining Ofcom, Sharon was Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, responsible for overseeing the public finances. She also held Board level positions at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development, worked as an adviser at the Prime Minister's Policy Unit and in Washington DC as a senior economist at the World Bank.

Sharon is a non-executive Board member of Barratt Developments Plc and a Trustee of Sadler’s Wells Trust Ltd. She is a trained economist and studied at Cambridge University and University College London.

John Lewis Partnership; Chairman Sharon White; April 2022

Dame Sharon White

Gold Medal Award Winner 2021

Alison is Chief Executive of NatWest Group plc having worked at the bank for more than 27 years. She joined as a graduate and was most recently Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO of RBS’s Commercial & Private Banking business.

Alison sits on the Board of Directors for the Institute of International Finance and is a member of the International Business Council for the World Economic Forum. She is also a Trustee of Business in the Community (BITC) and Chairs the Scottish BITC Advisory Board. Alison is a Non-Executive Director of Great Portland Estates plc and sits on the board of the Coutts Charitable Foundation.


Alison Rose

Gold Medal Award Winner 2020

The Gold Medal Award 2020 is presented to David Roberts CBE, Chairman of Nationwide Building Society who has over 30 years experience in senior leadership roles at board and executive level in retail and banking in the UK and internationally.

David crafted his career while at Barclays and during his 23 years became known for his ability to manage large scale complex projects, his capacity to drive real and sustainable culture change and his focus on the customer. He held a wide range of senior management positions including Chief Executive, International Retail and Commercial Banking; CEO Private Clients International; CEO, Personal Financial Services, and CEO Business Banking, charged with all of Barclays' SME business across Europe and the UK.

Today David has a number of professional roles; he is the Deputy Chairman of NHS England and a Non-Executive Director at Campion Willcocks. David was awarded the CBE in the 2019 Queen's Birthday honours list for services to financial services and to the NHS.


David Roberts