Deborah Baker, director for people, Sky
HR magazine, September 11, 2015
As director for people at Sky, Deborah Baker holds one of the most significant HR roles in the UK, overseeing more than 16,500 employees and driving the company’s strategy for talent development and retention, alongside her responsibility for HR policy and services.
Since joining Sky in 2007, Deborah Baker has been instrumental in transforming Sky’s approach to its talent across the breadth and depth of the organisation. Working closely with chief executive Jeremy Darroch, she has also worked to embed a culture of individual responsibility for development right through the company, while simultaneously creating a wealth of resources at the employees to choose from, housed in an innovative online development studio.
Over and above this, Baker has prioritised the development of a next generation of leaders within the company, nurturing rising stars through bespoke programmes which raise the individual’s understanding of how the business operates, while also enabling them to build their personal leadership approach by exposing them to leading business people and management thinkers.
Baker and her team have also introduced new mechanisms to reward employees and to recognise success. She introduced a long-service recognition scheme and, in 2009, to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary, she designed an all-staff share award. She has also developed a company-wide recognition scheme where colleagues nominate each other, to recognise success at all levels and instil in the company the habit of catching people doing things right.
Baker joined Sky from Burberry where she was senior vice-president, human resources worldwide. Previously, she has held HR director positions at Booker, The Sygnet Group and Grand Metropolitan. She spent the early part of her career at Ford and Schlumberger.
Interview with Deborah Baker, Sky