Perry Watts DHL

Perry Watts, DHL Supply Chain chief executive, is to retire at the end of 2016

3) Perry Watts, DHL Supply Chain UK MD

DHL Supply Chain is the majority chunk of the DHL empire in the UK, accounting for £3.8bn of its £4.5bn turnover in 2012 (the remainder being its Express and Mail businesses) and Watts is at the top of the tree.

In November it beat rivals in a competitive tender to win further six-years on its national fuel distribution contract with supermarket Morrisons; renewing its largest fuels distribution contract.

In October it began managing a one million ft² DC for Sainsbury’s in Daventry. In September it won a ten-year contract with Gatwick Airport to manage inbound deliveries through its new logistics and consolidation facility… you get the idea.

Watts' steady hand – he’s a man who stays out of the limelight – providing the platform for DHL to negotiate through a tricky pay dispute with union Unite and four companies providing the operator with agency staff on its contract with Jaguar Land Rover.

We would not rule out further turnover and profit growth at DHL Supply Chain in 2014 given its track record, and in this market its ability to consistently deliver is real power.