WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky and Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex Inc., were two of four CEOs honoured in Canadian Business magazine’s inaugural CEO of the Year awards. Saretsky and Ellis received their awards at a gala dinner held in Toronto, November 6, 2013.
Saretsky received the award in the Top New CEO category, while Jacob was named 2013’s Most Innovative CEO. The 2013 CEO of the Year honour went to Ed Clark of TD Bank Group. Hunter Harrison of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. was selected as the year’s Top Turnaround CEO.
According to the magazine, the CEO of the Year program focuses on successful strategies implemented by CEOs who have made a major contribution to the Canadian business community and to Canada’s overall economic success. CEOs with less than five years experience in the role are eligible for the Top New CEO award.
Winners were chosen based on corporate performance in addition to a review by an independent advisory board consisting of Canada’s top business leaders, academics and strategists.
“We all tend to be quick to call out a bad CEO, but we don’t give great leaders nearly enough praise,” said Canadian Business editor Duncan Hood. “With these CEO of the Year Awards, we are starting a tradition of doing just that, because good chief executives don’t just create value for shareholders, they create economy-boosting value for Canada, through jobs, new products and innovations.”
WestJet’s Saretsky said he was honoured and humbled to receive the recognition. “It is truly a privilege to lead such a committed and dedicated team of more than 9,600 WestJet owners. Their passion for our guests, demonstrated by their caring service every day, is truly something special. What we have achieved in my time as CEO, we have achieved together. It has been an amazing three and a half years and, I believe, the best is yet to come. The future is bright and we’re looking forward to it with great anticipation and excitement.”