Unruly founder crowned winner at Oscars for women in business... but beware the awards curse

 
William Turvill
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WIRED BizCon 2014
Sarah Wood is the co-founder and co-chief executive of Unruly (Source: Getty)

Sarah Wood, the founder of Unruly, triumphed at last night's Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards.

Touted as the Oscars for women in business, Wood fought off competition from Trainline chief Claire Gilmartin and British make-up artist and cosmetic firm founder Charlotte Tilbury to win the award.

Cassandra Stavrou, founder and chief executive of Propercorn, meanwhile, was named winner of the new generation award.

Read more: Tech startups transformed the UK: Now for the next challenge

But Wood and Stavrou beware – award wins like these often carry a curse.

In 2008, Carolyn McCall resigned from her role as non-executive director of Tesco just days after landing the Veuve Clicquot award.

Alliance Trust chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox won last year’s award.

And, sure enough, this February she was out of the door.

Read more: Garrett-Cox leaves Alliance Trust in "mutual agreement"

The winners won’t have been too concerned last night, of course, as they sipped on the finest Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 (naturally) at the Claridge's ceremony. Canapes served, meanwhile, included tuna and avocado moscovite, a bouchee of wild mushroom in a tartlet case and a shallot roll of seared beef and celeriac.

The evening was hosted by BBC newsreader Emily Maitlis, with politician Mary Macleod appearing as the evening’s guest speaker.

Guests in attendance included Anna Friel, Charlotte Tilbury, Robert Konjic, Melissa Hemsley, Amanda Wakeley, Gareth Pugh, Doina Ciobanu, Tom Aikens and Olivia Wayne.

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