Expat CEO of the Year Award Presented for the 10th Time

Expat CEO of the Year Award Presented for the 10th Time

2024. 03. 23.

Organized in line with tradition by the Budapest Business Journal with the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency as its official event partner, the Expat CEO of the Year Gala celebrated its 10th edition this year. The award that is meant to recognize the efforts of Hungary’s top achieving foreign business leaders from time to time went to Chresten Bruun, General manager of Lego factory Nyíregyháza.

The Expat CEO of the Year Award is presented to a company head recognized as the most successful foreign leader in the past year, chosen from a pool of several hundred expat leaders. The recognition goes to the candidate who has done most for the country’s development and international recognition through his or her professionalism and outstanding achievements in the last 12 months.

The winner is always picked by a professional awards committee. It is comprised of HIPA’s CEO, leaders of bilateral chambers with outstanding experience both in international and domestic economic life, complemented by the prize winner of the previous year and the CEO of the Budapest Business Journal.

Accordingly, the members of the 2024 jury were as follows: Veronika Spanarova, managing director and country officer for Hungary of Citi; Írisz Lippai-Nagy, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary; István Joó, CEO of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency; András Sávos, President of DUIHK, and Co-CEO, Member of the Board of MetMax Europe Zrt., and Balázs Román, CEO of the Budapest Business Journal.

After lengthy discussion, the jury came up with the short list of business leaders one of whom was to receive the prestigious award.

  • Chresten Bruun, a Danish citizen, is managing director of Lego’s Hungarian operation, and he has been based in Hungary since June 2021; since May 2023, he has served as senior vice president for EMEA manufacturing, covering the Danish, Hungarian and Czech Republic markets.
  • Italian-born Raffaella Claudia Bondi is general manager of Roche Hungary and a board member of the Innovatív Gyógyszergyártók Egyesülete (Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Manufacturers or AIPM).
  • German national Arne Klehn is the multi-property general manager of the Budapest Marriott Hotel & Millenium Court Executive Apartments and also acts as the Guidance Chair for Europe on the Marriott Worldwide Business Councils.

“Economically vulnerable parts of the country are among the biggest winners of HIPA’s past ten years of operation. The Northern Hungary and the Northern Plain regions have welcomed nearly 160 projects in total in the past five years alone. And now BYD’s flagship investment marks the quest for concentrating our resources in the southern part of the country,” HIPA Deputy CEO Ms. Rita Szép-Tüske said in her welcoming remarks.

These marvelous results would have been impossible without the fresh perspective and global experience that foreign business leaders bring to the table − whether they come from the west or the east, and regardless of the industry they work in,

she added.

Ms. Szép-Tüske further emphasized that HIPA has always been there for investors to help accomplish their goals, and its incentive scheme has been constantly adjusted in line with changing circumstances and needs. “Therefore, we are more than happy to do our part to assist companies in reinventing themselves,” she concluded.

The award went to Chresten Bruun,General manager of Lego factory Nyíregyháza.

We have a long past here in Hungary, and I believe we have an even longer future. We have a solid ground for that with our amazing colleagues, and without them we couldn't produce our world-class products at such a high quality. Also, tonight I want to say a big thanks to all of my colleagues back in the factory in Nyíregyháza

The main objective of HIPA, official partner and co-organizer of the event, is to attract investors to Hungary, hand in hand with its genuine efforts to recommend high-quality Hungarian suppliers for those who are already present as investors in the country.