Lord Haughey, who started City Holdings – then called City Refrigeration Holdings – with his wife Lady Susan Haughey in 1985, won the “sustained excellence” category earlier in the evening, before being crowned Scotland overall winner.
Mike Timmins, EY partner and leader of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme in Scotland, said: “Lord William Haughey is a compelling leader who has built a world class business, which is widely regarded as the benchmark for excellence in his industry.
“The judges were impressed by the sustainable business model he has developed and his commitment to improving the lives of others.”
Among the other awards, Chris Stewart, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Chris Stewart Group, scooped the “building a better working world” category.
The “disruptor” award was lifted by David Venables, chief executive of Synpromics, which is also based in Edinburgh.
The “rising star” award was given to John Reynolds, the boss of Castle Water, based in Blairgowrie, while the “scale-up” gong went to Rabinder Buttar, chairman, chief executive and founder of Clintec International, based in Glasgow.
Charles Hammond, CEO of Forth Ports, was named “transformational leader”, while the “EY family business award of excellence” was made to Robertson, set up in Elgin by Bill Robertson.