European award for Suffolk businesswoman

A SUFFOLK businesswoman has scooped a top award honouring women who have made a major impact on the European stage. Laura Wade-Gery, who lives in Halesworth, won the business category in the European Women of Achievement Awards for her work steering Tesco.

A SUFFOLK businesswoman has scooped a top award honouring women who have made a major impact on the European stage.

Laura Wade-Gery, who lives in Halesworth, won the business category in the European Women of Achievement Awards for her work steering Tesco.com to greater success across Europe.

After joining the retail giant in 1998 as targeted marketing director, Ms Wade-Gery became chief executive officer of Tesco.com - the world's biggest online grocery retailer - in early 2004.

The judges chose her ahead of other nominees because, they said, she was “truly European in her job” and online sales at Tesco had more than doubled to £1 billion under her leadership over the past three years.

Ms Wade-Gery, 42, is also a non-executive director of Trinity Mirror and prior to joining Tesco worked for Gemini Consulting and Kleinwort Benson.

The European Women of Achievement Awards, now in their 17th year, are given to women whose vision, courage and determination have helped increase the influence of women on European affairs. Previous winners include yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, explorer Fiona Thornewill and broadcaster Angela Rippon.

Most Read

This year's awards were presented at a ceremony in London last Friday, attended by the Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown.

“I am proud to have been chosen for this award, especially as I respect and admire so many of the other nominees,” said Ms Wade-Gery.

“Talent is talent, whatever a person's gender or background, and dynamic businesses such as Tesco are committed to developing their people. We are fortunate to have an ever-expanding pool of great staff in many countries and that enables us to exchange ideas and experience. This award is special because it celebrates goals that we all share regardless of the countries or organisations we represent.”

Jane Holdaway, chairwoman of the EWAA, said: “Laura was one of a cast of superb nominees we had this year and I'm delighted she has joined our list of eminent winners. She thoroughly deserves her success and is a great role model for all women.”

Tesco picked up a second honour at the awards with Lucy Neville-Rolfe, the company's executive director of corporate and legal affairs, winning the professional category.