Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Paul Toasts a Great Year for Sage

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Paul Toasts a Great Year for Sage

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brian Nicholls

Paul Walker last night toasted a fantastic year of success for software giant Sage by winning the title North-East Business Executive of the Year.

He is this year's victor in the region's most prestigious business title for individuals.

At a celebratory dinner at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park, last night, Paul, the North-East based group's chief executive, was the judges' top choice among nine finalists picked from more than 50 top executives.

He told guests on receiving his award: "One of our core values at Sage is to give staff the freedom to go out and succeed and we want them to go out and do just that."

This triumph for the boss of the Newcastle-based FTSE 100 firm came two weeks after the company reported a 20pc rise in annual profits to pounds 181m and a 29pc hike in group revenues to pounds 688m.

Paul's success means that for the first time two individuals from the same company have won the regional title.

The late David Goldman ( chairman of Sage, co-founder and initial architect of its commercial dominance ( won in 1992.

Runners-up last night were Brian Manning, managing director of construction group Esh of Bowburn, and Donald Fothergill, chief executive of Pickerings Lifts of Stockton. They too won titles. Brian is now Durham and Wearside Business Executive of the Year, and Donald Tees Valley Business Executive of the Year.

The judges, chaired by Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, said: "Paul has spoken many times of a debt to David, and how much he learned from him. But Paul clearly has since made a tremendous input of his own into Sage. And he is young enough to take it further."

Father-of-three Paul, 46, was recruited by David Goldman after a casual meeting.

Paul, from Sheffield, had qualified as an accountant with Arthur Young but was interested in computers and had the entrepreneurial spirit when he joined Sage 20 years ago, initially as financial director. …

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