Human Resource Officers

HR Matters 2014

Q1 and Q2

Welcome to the 2014 edition of HR Matters, a summary from the Human Resources (HR) practice at Russell Reynolds Associates of selected HR appointments in the UK over the last year. The HR function has a pivotal role to play in helping organizations develop their staff to become resilient, adaptable and capable of coping in a commercial environment that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous .This becomes clear when we look at the impact everything digital is having on the way organizations go to market and structure themselves. Looking at talent and organizational development differently is key to how the HR function can help its organization see through ambiguity with clarity. The piece below by Michelle Hepden-Dyer, Global Talent Director at Bupa, illustrates the importance of moving away from nine-box grids and top 100 leaders to more holistic, agile talent boards and creative use of social media technologies.

The changing nature of talent in a digital setting - by Michelle Hepden-Dyer

As businesses are evolving and adapting to a digital environment, so is the nature of talent. The way we think about, understand and manage our talent is crucial both now and in the future. No longer can we rely solely on senior succession plans, a perfectly formed nine-box grid and a suite of development programes  to deliver extraordinary business performance and meet the ambitious strategic goals set by leaders in organizations. So we have to think differently.

Alongside capital, the supply of the right quantity and quality of talent with game-changing organizational capabilities will be one of the principal enablers for organizations to realize their goals. Taking a systemic approach that starts with business strategy is vital to making talent an intrinsic part of the business and the decisions made. This, coupled with the advancement in technology, means understanding that the talent and capability in an organization may not only inform and influence but can change critical business decisions: knowing what talent exists, what talent needs to be in force, where gaps exist, and where best to focus time and investment.

Instead of using the traditional method of spotlighting the top 100 leaders, progressive organizations turn to a totally inclusive approach concentrated on unleashing the potential of every single employee to deliver his or her best. This means knowing and understanding each individual and taking a “person-centric” approach to talent, where conversation rather than heavy process provides a platform to uncover an employee’s aspirations, experiences and unique contribution. The use of technology then enables a company to capture the data, recognize the capability and create rich insights to inform important business decisions. For many companies, this could mean revealing the potential of thousands of people. That may seem like an impossible goal. In my experience, there are two key ways to start to make that goal a reality and turn it into a key source of competitive advantage.

First, build the capability and confidence of leaders at all levels and engage in authentic talent conversations both with individuals and with leadership teams. Provide them with simple tools and skills to have real conversations, lead and take part in agile talent boards, and foster the ability to spot potential and possibility in every employee. In one organization, this level of simplicity meant we replaced the nine-box grid with a basic approach to identifying potential and mapping talent. The process was embraced and adopted globally within a matter of months and unearthed a wealth of new and existing talent.

Second, having opened up the dialogue and gathered a wealth of knowledge about people in the company, this information can be turned into valuable data for an organization. With the technology at hand today, there is a powerful digital platform that enables a company to shift the way we think about, interact with and realize the full potential of people. An organization’s internal social networking sites no longer are merely a vehicle to communicate, share and connect. These sites can be used to build a rich source of global data involving every individual in a company and to establish a critical talent bank for leaders.

Where we adapted a site internally and created a talent hub like LinkedIn, it gave the individual an opportunity to share his or her profile, the ability to source and search people at any level in the organization, locate a mentor, find new job opportunities and join specialized groups. For the organization, the site created an open and transparent way to understand the breadth of internal talent globally and provided a plentiful source of data for leaders to search for specific skills, post job opportunities and develop communities of practice. This was accomplished at a fraction of the cost of conventional talent systems, and it provided a simple and dynamic way to meet the expectations of the user.

This use of technology yields so much more than data and insight, producing genuine transparency and a shift in mindset in how we think about, identify and develop talent. This gives every individual the chance to contribute and show who they are and what they can offer an organization. When access is open to all, sharing aspirations and areas of development becomes the norm, and everyone’s talents can be valued and developed. It also generates a global inventory of the skills, experiences and knowledge of all employees and builds agility in making informed decisions about people and the business.



Notable Appointments in HR

Arriva | Rachel Baldwin has joined Arriva as its HR director, UK. Prior to joining Arriva, she was HR director at Dairy Crest Group plc’s foods division and has more than 15 years’ experience in HR management roles in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

WS Atkins plc | James Cullens has joined WS Atkins as group HR director, following the retirement of Alun Griffiths. Cullens joins the firm from Hays plc and previously held similar positions with Linde AG, BOC Group Plc and PA Consulting Group.

Aviva | Christine Deputy has joined Aviva Group, reporting directly to Mark Wilson, group CEO. Her most recent position was head of HR for global retail and business banking at Barclays. Prior to that, she was chief HR officer at Dunkin’ Brands Group. She also has more than 10 years’ experience at Starbucks, where she served as vice president, partner resources, for the Asia/Pacific and Greater China regions.

Bank of England | Joanna Place has joined Bank of England as executive director, human resources. She replaces Catherine Brown, who left the organization last July. Place has worked at the Bank of England for most of her career, and previous roles there include head of customer banking division; head of monetary and financial statistics division; and, most recently, director of regulatory operations, Prudential regulation authority.

Barclays | Irene McDermott Brown has been appointed Barclays’ group HR director after nine months in the role as an interim. She serves on the executive committee and reports directly to group chief executive Antony Jenkins. She joined Barclays in 2011 from BP and previously held senior roles at Cable & Wireless and led her own consultancy business.

Biogen Idec | Kurt Serrano, formerly with Expedia, has joined Biogen Idec as head of HR, US commercial. Earlier, he held HR positions at Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

Brakes Group | Brakes Group has appointed Kate Woodhouse as independent HR director from Home Retail Group.

British Broadcasting Corporation | Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, group HR and communications director at outsourcing services company Amey, will take up the role leading the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) people division, reporting to Anne Bulford, managing director of finance and operations, and will be part of BBC’s executive team. Earlier, she worked as group HR director at Xansa and Steria.

British Land | Joff Sharpe has been named HR director for British Land. Prior to joining the company, he worked at Mars, PepsiCo and Vodafone, as well as at private equity-backed companies. His early career was spent in the British Army.

Canopius Group | Canopius Group has appointed Barbara Turner group head of human resources. She has more than 25 years of HR management experience. She joins the company from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, where she was head of HR for the EMEA region, managing the HR process for more than 1,800 employees across 17 locations. She also has held senior HR positions at UBS and ABN AMRO and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Co-operative Group | Helen Webb has been named HR director of the Co-operative Group. She joins the firm from Sainsbury’s.

Cushman & Wakefield | Cushman & Wakefield has named Kirsty Peacock as its UK HR director, reporting directly to the firm’s head of HR in EMEA Liz Bunce-Grundy. Peacock joins the company from Aviva Investors, where she held a leadership role on the HR team and supported a number of business areas, including global real estate

Diageo | Leanne Wood has been named HR director at Diageo. She previously was the firm’s global talent and organizational effectiveness director. She succeeds outgoing HR director Gareth Williams.

DMGT | Nathan Clements has joined DMG Media as HR director. He previously was senior HR director, manufacturing, logistics and supply chain at Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.

Ford Retail | Ford Retail has appointed Sharon Ashcroft HR director and member of the board, reporting to CEO Stuart Kerr. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the HR function, including health and safety, learning and development, and pay and reward. Ashcroft has been at Ford Retail for eight years and previously worked at Game station and financial software company CODA.

Go-Ahead | Go-Ahead has named Val Proctor group HR director. She has more than 20 years of HR experience in private and public sector roles. Before joining Go-Ahead on an interim basis in early 2012, she was head of organizational capability and development for Transport for London, supporting the delivery of the mayor’s transport strategy. She previously held roles with the Ministry of Justice and Prudential.

Heineken | Jane Brydon has joined Heineken, where she serves as human resources director for the UK. She reports directly to UK managing director David Forde and divides her time between Edinburgh and London. She previously worked at Sainsbury’s Bank.

IMI | Geoff Tranfield has been named group HR director of engineering company IMI. He joins IMI from oilfield services company Petrofac, where he oversaw the launch of organizational development, talent management and other HR programs. He previously held HR roles at energy companies Hess Corporation and TXU Europe after holding managerial positions at BMW/Rover Group, Railtrack and London Underground.

Interserve | Interserve has appointed Catherine Ward group director of human resources. She joins the company from BMI Healthcare, where she was group people and communications director for six years. Prior to that, she held senior HR roles at BAA, SHL Group, British Broadcasting Corporation, Sotheby’s and Aviva. She reports to Interserve’s CEO Adrian Ringrose.

Jaeger | Jaeger has appointed Liz Jewitt-Cross HR director. She most recently was HR director at Joules.

Jeyes | Jeyes has named Jo Sims head of HR. She joins the company from Bull Information Systems. In this role, she heads up a team of four in the UK and is a member of the executive team, reporting directly to Jeyes CEO Mark Tyldesley.

Johnston Press | Steve Gilliver has joined Johnston Press as group HR director, reporting directly to CEO Ashley Highfield. In this role, Gilliver is responsible for the implementation of the organization’s key initiatives that are aimed at supporting staff development. He joins the organization from Dell Inc., where he was executive HR director for the EMEA commercial business and previously held a number of executive leadership positions in the EMEA Talent Management organizations.

LV= | LV= has named Julia Tyson its group HR director. She joins LV= from construction group Wates, where she was group HR director. Before that, she was corporate HR director for Centrica and also worked at Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Capital in senior HR roles. In her new role at LV=, she is responsible for 5,700 staff members and heads a team of more than 100 people.

Macmillan Science and Education |’s chief people officer Allison Rutledge-Parisi, has joined Macmillan Science and Education as chief people officer, where she leads the HR organization globally.

MasterCard | Ron Garrow has been named chief human resources officer at MasterCard. He joined the company three yearsago as group head, global talent acquisition management and development, reporting to Stephanie Voquer, who announced her retirement. Earlier, he held various HR leadership positions at Bank of America.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc | Karen Caddick has joined Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc as group human resources director. Her experience includes working for Royal & SunAlliance, Barclays Bank, Channel 5, the Financial Times and, more recently, Punch Taverns & Spirit Group PLC and Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.

Mitchells& Butlers | Jan Smallbone has been appointed director of talent development at Mitchells & Butler. She most recently was organization and learning director, EMEA, for Starbucks.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets | Morrisons has appointed Emily Lawson group HR director, and she serves on the company’s management board. She joins the organization from McKinsey & Company, where she was a partner in the firm’s human capital practice.

NewVoiceMedia | NewVoiceMedia has named Gary Lane director of HR and recruitment. He joins the firm from, where he managed recruitment in a number of EMEA locations. NewVoiceMedia’s new American office will bring the company closer to Salesforce, as they expand their partnership.

Reed Exhibitions | Richard Lowther has joined Reed Exhibitions as global HR director. Prior to that, he was HR director at TomTom.

exam | Rexam has appointed David Morkeberg vice president of HR. He joins Rexam from Baker Hughes, where he was HR director for the European region. He replaces Nikki Rolfe, who has moved to the role of Rexam’s group HR director of HR.

SIG Group | Linda Kennedy has joined SIG Group as group human resources director. Earlier, she worked at and Everything Everywhere.

Thomas Cook | Thomas Cook has named Sandra Campopiano as its chief people officer, reporting to CEO Harriet Green, whom Campopiano worked alongside at Premier Farnell. Prior to that, she worked at Psion (part of Motorola Solutions), Barclays Retail and Online Business.

TUI Travel | Caroline Kitcher has joined TUI UK and Ireland as HR director. She joins the firm from Guoman and Thistle Hotels and previously held a role with Home Retail Group.

Twitter | Colin Daly has joined Twitter as head of human resources, EMEA. He previously was vice president of human resources at Activision Blizzard.

Westfield | Una O’Reilly, former McArthurGlen HR director, has joined Westfield as UK HR director.

Workday | Ashley Goldsmith has been appointed chief HR officer. She has global responsibility for HR and internal communications and reports directly to chairman and co-founder Aneel Bhusri. Goldsmith joins the company from Polycom.

World Fuel Services| World Fuel Services has named Derek Scott vice president of HR, EMEA. He joins the company from Honeywell Process Solutions, where he held the role of HR vice president globally.

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HR Matters 2014