1 February 2005 – Frankfurt (GER): Peach CEO Dr Ueli Wolfensberger picked up the highly-regarded industry achievement award at the European Office Products Awards (EOPA) on Friday night (28 January).
Wolfensberger, who will switch to the role of chairman in May, was given a warm reception by the 450 attendees as he joined the stage to give an emotional acceptance speech.
The evening got off to sparkling start with Staples founder Tom Stemberg’s address to industry delegates. He fed the audience with humorous anecdotes such as his company’s UK launch, a joint venture (JV) with Kingfisher in 1992, which had to be played down due to IRA threats to the local area. The effusive Staples chairman added that it was not in Staples style to enter new markets without a big party.
Stemberg also spoke with heightened optimism on his company’s recently formed JV with Chinese company OA365.com, stating that he expected the catalogue delivery company to lead the future of China’s OP industry.
In a surprise award, former Spicers chief and EOPA judging panel chairman Eric Smith picked up the special recognition award. The enigmatic Welshman, who spent 18 years at the head of the UK wholesaler, said he was "overwhelmed and thrilled with the award".
Other winners included:
Most innovative company – Durable
Dealer group of the year – Integra Office Solutions
Environmental responsibility (for resellers) – Office Depot
Environmental responsibility (for manufacturers) – Isaberg Rapid
Emerging reseller of the year – Pragmatic
Reseller of the year – Lyreco
Marketing initiative – Esselte
Young professional of the year – Alexey Popov, Bureaucrat
Wholesaler/distributor of the year – Spicers
New product launch – Isaberg Rapid, Soon range
Vendor of the year below €50 million – HSM Pressen
Vendor of the year above €50 million – Hewlett-Packard