Boyden Executive Search

Elise Andström is serving as a special guest judge for's annual 'CEO of the Year' award. In this interview, we ask Elise about the process, selection criteria for nominees, and what being a judge entails.

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On Wednesday, 6th November, is announcing the 'CEO of the Year' award for the 8th year in a row. Boyden is a proud sponsor of's annual 'CEO of the Year' award and this year Boyden Sweden's Managing Partner, Elise Andström is serving as a judge. Hundreds of candidates have been evaluated, and there are now 16 finalists, and so far, 4 unknowing winners. 

There are only a few days left to the event, what has the process of the judge’s work looked like?

Elise: First of all, I must say that I think we have received many interesting nominations. It has not been an easy task to vote for candidates in each category, there has been fierce competition in all groups.

The process for us in the judge begins by delving into the answers we received to the questions sent to the nominated candidates as well as the notes from the interviews that we at Boyden did with these.

Of course, great emphasis is placed on the three criteria’s: Leadership, Profitability and Sustainability. Sustainability is a particularly important area today, which includes not only environmental thinking but also how to handle such as equality issues. We also look at whether the industry or the company has faced any specific challenge during the CEO's time and how he/she has handled this, as well as other changes that have driven him/her.

Are there any special qualities you pay extra attention to when going through the nominations?

Elise: An important thing for me in terms of the leadership criteria is to see that these candidates are leaders and not managers, i.e. CEOs who engage, involve and develop their staff and do not point with their whole hand. That’s why I look at the ‘How’ a CEO has taken on a new challenge, and ‘How’ they drive changes in their company.

Another thing is also to see what they have done that has affected society at large. I think that today we should place greater demands on our CEOs, and not only see what they have done for the company they represent but also what social responsibility they have taken.

Can you see a red thread in the nominees? Any features that stand out?

Elise: In short, they are all driven committed leaders who want to make a difference in some way. Everyone has a strong focus on sustainability and has realized that this is something that must be implemented throughout the company, all processes, etc. and not a function alongside. In combination with this, they are also successful in running and developing profitable companies.

What are you looking forward to the most at the event on Wednesday?

Elise: To meet a lot of interesting inspiring people and to listen to exciting speakers and discussions. I hope many will come as it is an excellent opportunity to make new contacts and to find out about other CEO's good examples.

Are you interested in attending the event? Buy your ticket here:

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