ICELAND Foods boss Malcolm Walker has two reasons to celebrate.
The Grange Moor-born founder and chief executive of Iceland was named Best Leader of a Big Company in the annual Sunday Times Best Companies Awards.
And Iceland, which has stores at Aspley and Trinity Street in Huddersfield, was voted Best Big Company to Work For.
Iceland moves up to top slot in the Best Companies league table after being placed sixth in 2011, 13th in 2010 and 14th in 2009.
Iceland is the only national food retailer to feature in the league table.
Its success comes despite the distraction of a bid by Mr Walker and other senior managers to buy the business he founded 40 years ago.
Last week, it was confirmed that Mr Walker and his team had signed a deal giving them exclusive takeover talks ahead of any other possible bidders.
The agreement has been reached with creditors of collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which took control of the Iceland chain in 2008.
Mr Walker and his colleagues already own 23% of the business.
Said Mr Walker: “We’ve always known that Iceland is the best company to work for – not just in the UK, but in the world – and it is great to have this confirmed by such a respected independent survey.
“When we first entered in 2009, I said I wouldn’t be happy until we were number one and I am absolutely delighted that we have now achieved this goal.”
He said: “Our ranking is decided entirely by what our own people said during the survey about working for Iceland, so I want to say an absolutely massive thank-you to all of them.
“They are simply the best team anywhere – and the fact that they have remained so positive and committed throughout all the uncertainties of our share sale is an absolute inspiration”.