Press Releases

25 November 2009

FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism 2009

The Shadow Chancellor presented the FIRST Responsible Capitalism awards at a special ceremony at Marlborough House, London, attended by over 280 prominent business leaders, Parliamentarians and Ambassadors. On presenting the Awards the Shadow Chancellor commented
‘I attach great importance to the concept of Responsible Capitalism and am delighted to present FIRST’s Responsible Capitalism Awards this year.’

Andrew Witty becomes the eleventh head of an international organisation to receive the award. The previous winners have been Lord Browne of Madingley, Group Chief Executive of BP (2000), Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Companies (2001), Sir Robert Wilson KCMG, Executive Chairman of Rio Tinto (2002) and now Chairman of the BG Group, Dr Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis AG (2003), Mr Morris Tabaksblat KBE, former Chairman of Reid Elsevier and Mr Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of Ayala Corporation (joint winners 2004), Mr Alan Wood CBE, Chief Executive of Siemens plc (2005), Mr Rata Tata, Chairman of Tata Group (2006), Howard Schultz, Chief Executive of Starbucks Corporation (2007) and Dr Mo Ibrahim, founder of Celtel International (2008).

When making the Award, the Judges are looking for a business leader who has consistently demonstrated social responsibility as an integral part of commercial success, examining in particular the manner in which their businesses interact both with the environment and the social communities in which they operate. In making the Award to Andrew Witty, Lord Woolf, Chairman of The Judging Panel said
‘Andrew Witty has through sensitive and positive leadership of GlaxoSmithKline, brought the real prospect of better health, by a wider sharing of the advantages of medical science, to people in all parts of the world.’

Karim Khoja receives the Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Face of Adversity having set an inspirational example in seeking to bring modern technology, new opportunities and prosperity to the war torn country of Afghanistan. A Special Award for Philanthropy was made to Roger Sant for giving so generously to a range of worthwhile causes and endeavours, so ensuring that the fruits of his business success would be shared amongst the many.

On receiving the award Andrew Witty stated,
“On behalf of GlaxoSmithKline I am honoured to receive the 2009 FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism. It is part of GlaxoSmithKline’s core mission to ensure that everyone has access to the medicines and vaccines we produce, whether they live in the developed world or the developing world. We are proud of the fact that today 80% of all vaccines go to the developing world and we have redoubled our commitment to doing more research into Neglected Tropical Diseases. Doing what you can is quite simply the right thing to do. In the long run it returns value to our shareholders and to the societies we serve.”

On receiving the Special Award for Outstanding Achievement in the face of Adversity, Karim Khoja said,
This is a critical time for the people of Afghanistan, and your acknowledgement and support reinforces the fact that our efforts can play an instrumental role in the transformation of a society and its people. Our business, as well as the programs we support, reflects our philosophy in creating an enabling environment for the country, our customers, our employees, and the people of Afghanistan. This award is a testament to the fact that responsible business, even in challenging and volatile countries, is possible.”

On receiving the Special Award for Philanthropy on behalf of Roger Sant, Sir David Manning said,
'I am delighted to receive this important Award on behalf of Roger Sant. When I became Ambassador in Washington I quickly realised that Roger and his wife, Vicki, were a formidable force for good’.

About the Award
The Awards for Responsible Capitalism were initiated by FIRST in 2000 to honour business leaders who have excelled by achieving both commercial success and demonstrating social responsibility.
Rupert Goodman, Chairman of FIRST said,
’We at FIRST believe that commercial success can be assessed in terms of standard criteria, but that social responsibility involves a greater sense of the needs of the wider community as well as shareholders, a special interest in the well-being of groups in need, care for the areas in which the business operates, environmental initiatives, and support for the arts and culture’.

The Judging Panel is chaired by the Rt Hon Lord Woolf of Barnes, former Lord Chief Justice and includes Chief Emeka Anyaoku GVCO TC CFR (former Commonwealth Secretary General), Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Companies), Rt Hon Lord Howe of Aberavon CH QC (former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Lord Plant of Highfield (Professor of Political Philosophy), Hon Philip Lader (Chairman of WPP Group), Sir Robert Wilson KCMG (Chairman of BG Group), Dr Daniel Vasella (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Novartis), Sir Patrick Cormack FSA MP, Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (Chairman of Pirelli), Morris Tabaksblat KBE (former Chairman of Reed Elsevier), Ratan Tata (Chairman of Tata Group), Howard Schultz (Chairman of Starbucks) and Philippa Foster Back OBE (Director of the Institute of Business Ethics).

FIRST is a multidisciplinary International Affairs organisation. Founded in 1984 it aims to enhance communications between leaders in industry, finance and government, worldwide and promote strategic dialogue. This is achieved via three key channels; publishing, events and awards.
For more information please contact:
Rupert Goodman, Chairman of FIRST
Tel: 020 7389 9640
Fax: 020 7389 9644
Mob: 07899 900156

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