|Eddie Hawthorne, centre, with Sophie Raworth and Premia Solutions’ Conrad Gamble|
The award for business leader of the year goes to Eddie Hawthorne, acknowledging his leadership of a business to which he has dedicated more than 20 years. So often has Arnold Clark Automobiles been either shortlisted or a winner, its name has become synonymous with the AM Awards.
A chartered accountant by trade, colleagues say that while Hawthorne naturally has an analytical mind, what makes him stand out from other directors is his ability to create a vision and then apply excellent project management skills to help him lead a team to execute that vision.
Business Leader of the Year
Very often, this has seen Arnold Clark streak ahead of the competition in all disciplines – new and used car retailing, service plans and tyre retailing, as well as its commitment to training and supporting the communities in which it operates through charitable giving.
It takes its social responsibility very seriously, with particular focus on children’s causes, including The Prince’s Trust.
In 2013, the group reported its highest turnover and in the past 10 years has consistently had a return on sale touching 3% – an incredible achievement with its broad volume franchise portfolio, ever-growing dealer network in Scotland and England and, more to the point, a strategy of high-volume, low-margin and giving the customer the deal.
Arnold Clark has won the AM Retailer of The Year award for a record three consecutive years from 2012 and it won AM Tyre Retailer of The Year in 2012 and 2013.
Hawthorne, with an analytical business mind and the ability to motivate and lead staff to deliver consistently outstanding results, shows no signs of taking his foot off the gas.
Previous winners: Sue Robinson & Paul Everitt (2010); David Main (BEN) (2011); Steve Nash (IMI) (2012); Peter Vardy (2013)
Category sponsored by Premia Solutions.