Updated: RBS's head of HR Neil Roden explains his reasons for leaving the organisation

David Woods , 14 Jun 2010


Neil Roden, one of the most high profile leaders in HR, is to step down as group director of human resources at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HR magazine has learned.

Roden told HR magazine: "I have been working continuously for 30 years, the last 10 in my current role ( which will be one of the longest tenures in large UK companies!) and it's time I had a break and the organisation had a change. 

"In addition, I feel the HR function will benefit from this as well. RBS in now stable with the worst behind it and is moving from being a problem to an opportunity and it feels the right time to me to make this change as it will give my successor a steady platform on which to build.

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"I will be around RBS for about six months or so helping Stephen Hester our CEO with the search for my replacement and the whole process is very amicable.

"I intend to take some time off and have a break and use that valuable time to reflect on what I might do next."

Roden, who was understood to earn a base salary of £600,000, has been with RBS since 1997 when he joined from National Australia Group, where he was general manager, HR for Europe. During his five years there he was responsible for HR issues during a time of strategic change in their constituent banks, including Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank.

A key player in the HR sector, Roden has featured on HR magazine's Most Influential ranking for three of the past four years. He was rated highly for personal influence and visibility and received the admiration of his peers for aligning HR strategy to the business.

However, during the financial crisis and subsequent recession, when RBS came under increased scrutiny, Roden grew notably absent from the public arena and he did not figure in the 2009 Most Influential list.

He added: "Far from being absent from the public arena I don't think I have spoken at more events in the last nine months! with two in each of the last two weeks alone."

Speaking to HR magazine in January this year, Roden said the financial crisis was "not all the fault of bankers' bonuses or the fault of [former RBS chief executive] Fred Goodwin either".


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