Louise Smalley, group HR director, Whitbread
HR magazine, September 10, 2015
Louise Smalley joined the board of Whitbread in 2012, at the time making the hospitality brand second in terms of number of female board members, with four compared to GlaxoSmithKline’s five.
Smalley joined the Premier Inn to Costa Coffee company in 1995 and has been group HR director since 2007. Whitbread is the UK's largest and one of the fastest growing hospitality companies and now operates in 31 international markets around the world, employing over 50,000 people in the UK alone. The company has been consistently credited as one of the top ten large employers surveyed by Best Companies for the Sunday Times.
Louise has held a variety of business change and HR roles across Whitbread’s businesses, including HR director of David Lloyd Leisure and Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants.
Smalley previously worked as an HR professional in the oil industry for 10 years firstly with BP and then Esso Petroleum. This allowed her to build strong foundation experience across all aspects of HR, with particular expertise in industrial relations.
She joined the board of DS Smith in June 2014 inspired by their growth plans to redefine packaging to help global customers in a changing consumer and retail environment.