Roden, who was ranked 12 in HR’s Most Influential List in 2010 and who became the HR figurehead of the financial crisis, left the bank last year after a decade in position.
During his last year RBS suffered financial turmoil, posting the largest annual loss in UK corporate history (£24.1 billion) in 2009 and ending with the very public resignation of Fred (the Shred) Goodwin.
Speaking to HR magazine as he stood down on 1 October 2010, Roden revealed he offered to quit when new CEO Stephen Hester took over Goodwin. He also defended the HR function at RBS, refusing to take any responsibiity for the financial crisis at the bank, which resulted in the Government bailing it out to the tune of more than £45 billion and the taxpayer owning 84% of the firm.
"I can't see what HR could have done. Lack of money was not an HR issue, the portfolios our businesses kept was not an HR issue; none of them were. There's a debate here about what HR can reasonably be held accountable for. People think HR runs companies. I say, stop getting carried away; HR is a support function, no more or less important than sales or IT. HR critics are way ahead of themselves; they need to get back inside their box," he said.
Michael Rendell, head of HR services at PwC commented on the appointment: "In addition to a wide ranging role advising clients on all aspects of HR, Neil will be focusing on the role of the HR function, how to optimise its activity and the critical impact of people on business performance."|
Prior to joining RBS Roden was general manager, human resources, Europe, at National Australia Group.