Media Release: Phil Smith of Cisco announced as National Business Awards finalist

TODAY, Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK & Ireland, has been shortlisted for the Orange Leader Award at this year’s National Business Awards in partnership with Orange.

Smith is a recognised champion of technology and innovation, with a 30-year track record in the ICT industry, advising leading global organisations in the private and public sector on how to drive transformation, productivity and sustainable growth.

He will go up against four other commendable leaders: Paul Grimwood, CEO of Nestlé UK; Dame Barbara Stocking, CEO of Oxfam; Paul Drechsler, CEO and chairman of Wates Group; and Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management.

Phil Smith, CEO, Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for the Orange Leader Award.

“The National Business Awards provide an amazing platform to celebrate excellence in British business, from thriving entrepreneurs to global corporations, across a range of sectors.

“To be recognised for my achievements and experiences within the IT industry and at Cisco, with the likes of the other high-calibre candidates, is truly an honour.”

The ultimate winner of the award will be decided by a public vote, which opens today, as well as a judging panel of senior executives who will review video interviews of the candidates at a screening on 18th October where they will vote in a secret ballot.

Judges include James Leigh-Pemberton, UK CEO of Credit Suisse; Sir William Sargent, CEO of Framestore; Kanya King, CEO of the MOBO Organisation; and Clare Parsons, Chairman of Lansons Communications.

The winner will be revealed at the National Business Awards ceremony in London on 13th November 2012.

Says a spokesperson: “This award recognises the personal imprint of the UK’s most high-profile leaders on the culture and success of their organisations – with five high-profile CEOs invited to participate as champions of their respective industries.

“Besides their achievements as business leaders over the last 18 months, and what they have achieved in the course of their career, this year’s finalists are also respected thought-leaders.

“Previous winners of the award have included Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO, MITIE Group (2011); Martin McCourt, former CEO, Dyson (2010); and Peter Marks, CEO of the Cooperative Group (2009).

“The National Business Awards in partnership with Orange has revealed over 150 of Britain’s leading businesses and business leaders as finalists overall. Organisations shortlisted include a range of private, public and third-sector companies, including National Grid, Marks & Spencer and London Early Years Foundation.”

Alex Evans, programme director of the National Business Awards, said: “Presenting five inspirational styles of leadership that have driven exceptional performance, each of the five CEOs shortlisted for Orange Leader of the Year has also demonstrated impact beyond their organisation – whether it’s as a champion of innovation, responsible business or diversity.”

Martin Stiven, vice-president of Business at Orange, part of Everything Everywhere, said: “The finalists for the Orange Leader of the Year all demonstrate the outstanding qualities of British business leaders running organisations in the UK today.

“All are shining examples of innovative, original leadership in their respective fields and we offer them our warm congratulations.”

To vote for your favourite Orange Leader finalist visit

The National Business Awards supports Help for Heroes, a charity that offers support and advice for wounded soldiers.


For further information or interview opportunities contact:

Sophie Wedgewood

Octopus Communications

Tel: 08453 700 655


Shereene Witter

Octopus Communications

Tel: 08453 700 655


Annelle Botha

Head of PR and Marketing

UBM Awards and Partnerships

Tel: 0207 234 8753


Notes for editors:

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to Cisco equipment in Europe is provided by Cisco Systems International B.V. and Cisco International Limited, wholly owned subsidiaries of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco’s trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

About the National Business Awards

Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange is the UK’s most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business. Now in its eleventh year, the National Business Awards connects the nations’ professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events; and is UBM plc’s flagship awards programme. Visit for further information or follow us on Twitter @businessawards.

About Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes (H4H) was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry after a profoundly moving visit to Selly Oak Hospital in the summer of 2007. Bryn and Emma met some extraordinarily brave young men who had been badly wounded and they just wanted to do something to help. The charity was launched in October 2007 and provides direct, practical support for those wounded, injured or who have become sick in the line of duty and their families.

About Orange UK

Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. With almost 131 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates. In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99 per cent of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93 per cent.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited.

On July 1 2010, the company became part of Everything Everywhere, one company that runs two of Britain’s most famous brands – Orange UK and T-Mobile UK – with plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything, everywhere, offering them the best value, best choice and best network coverage in the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country.

Everything Everywhere Limited is registered at Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BW under the registered company number 02382161.

For more information please call the Orange Press Office 0870 3731500, or visit

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Contact: Lesley Ferguson
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