Brooks named Ivey Business Leader of the Year

By Communications Staff
February 07, 2014

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Bonnie Brooks, MBA'08, vice-chair Hudson’s Bay Company, has been named the winner of the Ivey Business Leader Award. Brooks, the first woman to receive award, will address Canada’s most prominent business leaders on Oct. 30 at a gala dinner in Toronto.

Brooks joined Canada’s pioneering retailer as president and CEO in 2008 and was appointed to president of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 2012 when Lord & Taylor (USA) was rolled into the company. Successfully engineering a major turnaround at The Bay over the past five years, she was named vice-chair in 2014 – one more achievement in a ground-breaking career in the retail fashion industry which spans over three decades and three continents.

“Bonnie Brooks is a visionary leader in her field. Always ahead of the curve, she has a knack for boldly seizing opportunities that many do not have the courage to pursue, while simultaneously anticipating trends that will change the competitive landscape in the medium term,” said Bob Kennedy, Ivey Business School dean. “I am proud to say Bonnie is one of our graduates. She embodies so many of the leadership qualities we aim to develop at the school, and we are proud of her success.”

From 1997-2008, Brooks served in several retail leadership positions, including president at Lane Crawford Joyce Group, the Hong Kong-based retail giant with more than 500 stores in Asia. Previously, she held executive roles with Holt Renfrew Canada including executive vice-president / general merchandise manager.

“Bonnie Brooks has a corporate reputation that is second to none not only in Canada but also internationally,” said Kevin O’Brien, HBA ’93, chair of the Ivey Business Leader Award Dinner. “She has defined herself as an outstanding leader within an extremely competitive industry serving as an inspiration for the Canadian business community.”

The Ivey Business Leader Award will be presented at a black-tie dinner at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. Proceeds from the annual event have supported the Ivey Alumni Association Toronto Chapter HBA and MBA Scholarships established to attract top students to the school and the Toronto Alumni Professorship in Business Leadership, and will now support the new Ivey Building. 

Brooks, an Ivey MBA graduate, is also chair of the board of trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum, a member of the board of directors of Empire Company Limited (Sobey’s), a member of the board of trustees for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust and a member of the foundation board of CAMH.

She joins an esteemed list of past Ivey Business Leader Award recipients demonstrating leadership in both business and their communities. Past recipients of the award include:

2013 – George Cope, CEO Bell Canada;

2012 – Rick George, former CEO Suncor Inc.;

2011 – Ed Clark, group president and CEO of TD Bank Group (TD);

2010 – Peter Munk, founder and chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation;

2009 – Richard J. Currie, past chairman, BCE Inc. and former president, Loblaw Companies Limited and George Weston Limited;

2008 – Dominic D'Alessandro, president and CEO, Manulife Financial;

2007 – Claude Lamoureux, president and CEO, and Robert Bertram, executive vice-president, investments, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan;

2006 – Isadore Sharp, chairman and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels Inc.;

2005 – Peter Godsoe, former chairman and CEO, The Bank of Nova Scotia;

2002 – Gwyn Morgan, president and CEO, EnCana Corporation;

2001 – Harrison McCain, chairman, McCain Foods Limited, and G. Wallace McCain, chairman, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.;

2000 – Purdy Crawford, chairman, AT&T Canada;

1999 – Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, led by Prem Watsa, chairman;

1998 – Paul Desmarais, chairman, Power Corporation of Canada;

1997 – Frank Stronach, chairman of the board, Magna International Inc.;

1996 – Jean C. Monty, president and CEO, Northern Telecom Limited;

1995 – R. Jack Lawrence, deputy chairman, Nesbitt Burns Inc.;

1994 – Robert Nourse, president and CEO, The Bombay Company Inc.;

1993 – Cedric E. Ritchie, chairman, The Bank of Nova Scotia;

1992 – John C. Carroll, president and CEO, Molson Breweries; and

1991 – John M. Thompson, chairman and CEO, IBM Canada Limited.


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