Hackney takes top prize for his “phenomenal job in a difficult market"
Sawmill boss Tony Hackney of BSW Timber Group has been named Ernst & Young Scotland Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Judges described Hackney as having done a “phenomenal job in a difficult market” and praised him for “turning the market upside down” while displaying a sense of “drive and urgency”.
Since taking over the reins at the Berwickshire-based sawmilling business in 2008, Hackney has taken it from a loss-making company to the biggest of its kind in Britain, increasing turnover by 60 per cent to £163 million.
Pre-tax profits for the year to March 2011 were £17.2 million.
Jim Bishop, Scotland senior partner at Ernst & Young and the professional services firm’s Entrepreneur Of The Year leader north of the border, said: “Tony has achieved outstanding results in a short period of time, transforming BSW into a market-leading business.
“He brought stability to the company, successfully created two new user-friendly brands and established sound business principles all while maintaining the company’s family values.
“He has displayed the qualities shared by our previous winners; energy, vision and a remarkable talent for innovation.”
Hackney beat 23 other business leaders to the top prize and will now represent Scotland at the UK Entrepreneur Of The Year final in October along with a further seven contenders also recognised at the awards, held at the Gleneagles Hotel last night.
The full list of Ernst & Young Scotland Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 regional winners:
* Tony Hackney, chief executive officer, BSW Timber Group (overall winner)
* Nigel Gray, group chief executive officer, Braid Group Holdings
* Kevin Dorren, chief executive officer, Diet Chef
* Colin Rowley, managing director, Dron & Dickson
* Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, founder, Genius Foods
* Billy Walker, managing director, The BenRiach Distillery Company
* Charlie Millar, chief executive officer, Cassiltoun Housing Association (social enterprise category)
* Neil McLean, chief executive, Social Enterprise Academy (social enterprise category)
David Sibbald OBE, chairman and chief executive of Aridhia Informatics, was presented with a special award in recognition of his services to Scottish science and philanthropy.
The Scottish judging panel was led by Alex Stewart, operating partner at Clyde Blowers Capital.
Panel members were Colin Robertson, chief executive officer of Alexander Dennis Ltd and Scotland Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011; Keith Neilson, chief executive officer of Craneware plc; John Scott, founder of Scott Group Investments Ltd; John Anderson, chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange; Simon Munro, regional director for Scotland at the Business Growth Fund; and Susan Aktemel, founding director of Impact Arts.