LEAH Hutcheon has had quite a year. Having set up online-booking company Appointedd in 2011, Ms Hutcheon began this year by signing a deal with AEVI Marketplace to make her firm’s technology available to up to 500,000 customers around the world and ended it by being named small business entrepreneur of the year at the Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

In between she was chosen by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as one of a small band of business mentors on a £4 million scheme backed by Entrepreneurial Spark.

All that, while also taking time out for a period of maternity leave.

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Ms Hutcheon is not the only business leader to have experienced success over the course of 2017. While she is very much a representative of the entrepreneurial end of the market, at the blue-chip end Keith Skeoch and Martin Gilbert also had an outstanding year in 2017.

As chief executive of Standard Life Mr Skeoch led his firm into an £11 billion merger with Mr Gilbert’s Aberdeen Asset Management, pulling off one of the largest transactions of the year and consolidating the positions of two of Scotland’s largest financial services businesses in the process.

Having brought the businesses together the pair are now joint chief executives of Standard Life Aberdeen, which has £670bn of assets under management.

It has also been a good year for Quiz Clothing chief executive Tarak Ramzan, whose family became one of Scotland’s wealthiest this year after selling a £92m stake in the business via a July listing on the Alternative Investment Market.

The Glasgow-based retailer was valued at £200m when it made its stock market debut, with Mr Ramzan noting at the time that the fund-raising would allow the business to “achieve its exciting global potential”.

It marked a remarkable turnaround for the business, which fell into administration in 2009 only to be bought back by the family in a pre-pack deal.

Following the float the business revealed that in the year to the end of September its underlying pre-tax profits rose by 30 per cent to £4.8m on the back of a 35 per cent increase in revenues to £56.1m.

Elsewhere, 2017 was not so kind to FanDuel co-founder Nigel Eccles, who ultimately left the business after it was effectively taken over by its private equity backers.

Having set up the daily fantasy sports firm in 2009, Mr Eccles and his co-founders agreed what would have been a transformational deal with rival DraftKings at the end of 2016.

After running into opposition from US competition authorities the deal was ultimately abandoned, with a merger-termination clause not only handing FanDuel’s backers a greater chunk of the business’s equity but more influence on its board too.

In November Mr Eccles quit the business, with Matt King, a former director at FanDuel’s largest investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, replacing him as chief executive.

Despite the setback, Mr Eccles, who remains a shareholder in FanDuel, plans to launch another technology business in Edinburgh, this time targeting the eSports space.

Another chief executive who found himself out of a job towards the end of the year was IndigoVision’s Marcus Kneen, who left the CCTV specialist as it prepared to issue a profit warning in November.

The Midlothian-based tech firm’s shares fell by 30 per cent after it announced that it had run into “more difficult trading conditions” in the Middle East after experiencing “unforeseen delays in securing a number of large contracts” in the region.

Having joined the company in 2003, Mr Kneen had been chief executive since 2011 but stood down with immediate effect when the profit warning was issued. Earlier in the year Mr Kneen’s long-standing mentor Hamish Grossart stepped down as IndigoVision’s chairman.

A similar fate befell Havelock Europa chief executive David Ritchie, who left the Fife-based interiors business in September, three weeks after issuing a profit warning that resulted in its share price falling by 40 per cent in one day.

When, three weeks later, the firm confirmed pre-tax losses of £2.6m for the six months to the end of June it said Mr Ritchie had left the business with immediate effect to be replaced by Shaun Ormrod, the former chief executive Farnborough International.