Last night HR magazine unveiled the 2017 HR Most Influential rankings at an exclusive networking event in Claridge's.
The HR Most Influential rankings, sponsored by Open University Business School, recognise the HR practitioners and thinkers pushing the field of people strategy forward. HR Most Influential is now in its 12th year.
Siobhan Sheridan, civilian HR director at the Ministry of Defence, achieved the top spot in the list. She was praised by HRMI's expert panel for her tireless work engaging with and championing the wider HR community, and for her ability to think outside the box and so move seamlessly between sectors.
In an emotional acceptance speech Sheridan dedicated the award to the memory of her mentor Jackie Orme, former chief executive of the CIPD, who sadly passed away in 2012 from pancreatic cancer.
"I remember the first time I heard somebody talk about their vision for HR, and that vision being something I could really get on board with," Sheridan said. "She managed to get me really fired up. So this one's for Jackie."
In second place was Althea Loderick, strategic director for resources at Brent Council, who was praised by for her simple, straight talking, wicked sense of humour, and for not moving away from HR but using her position to demonstrate its power.
Ranked in third place was Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, group HR director at the BBC. Accepting her certificate, Hughes-D’Aeth said: "I started my HR career when I was a Saturday girl at Sainsbury's, and then I moved into the personnel department, and I love this profession. But there's no way we can do what we do without a fantastic team around us."
Here is the list in full:
1. Siobhan Sheridan, civilian HR director, Ministry of Defence
2. Althea Loderick, strategic director for resources, Brent Council
3. Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, group HR director, BBC
4. Louise Smalley, group HR director, Whitbread
5. Gillian Quinton, executive director (resources), Buckinghamshire County Council
6. Ann Pickering, HR director, Telefónica UK
7. Eugenio Pirri, chief people and culture officer, Dorchester Collection
8. Jacky Simmonds, group director, people, easyJet
9. Andrew Dodman, chief operating officer, University of Sheffield
10. Giovanni Giordano, group HR director, BAT
11. Caroline Nugent, HR and OD director, oneSource
12. Karen Beaven, HR director, River Island
13. Sandy Begbie, global head of people & organisation integration, Standard Life Aberdeen
14. Neil Morrison, HR director, Severn Trent
15. Stephen Dando, operating partner, Bain Capital
16. Julie Welch, HR director, Bunzl
17. Jabbar Sardar, HR director, BBC Studios
18. Kathryn Austin, chief people & marketing director, Pizza Hut Restaurants
19. Rachel Brace, HR director, Football Association
20. Pauline Prow, chief people officer, Monarch Airlines
21. Simon Linares, HR director, Direct Line
22. Andy Doyle, chief HR officer, WorldPay
23. John Stewart, director of HR, SSE
24. Toby Peyton-Jones, HR director, Siemens UK & North West Europe
25. Danny Harmer, chief people officer, Metro Bank
26. Kate Guthrie, group HR director, Clysedale & Yorkshire Bank
27. Annette Kelleher, chief HR officer, Johnson Matthey
28. Geoff Tranfield, group HR director, IMI
29. Natalie Bickford, group HR director, Merlin Entertainments
30. Shokat Lal, assistant chief executive, Rotherham Council
31. Mandy Coalter, HR director, United Learning
32. Deborah Baker, group director for people, Sky
33. Carol Kavanagh, group HR director, Travis Perkins
34. Rachel Stock, group HR director, Camelot
35. Alison Wilcox, group HR director, BT
36. Neil Foulger, managing director HR, Liberty Global
37. John Greatrex, group HR director, Unipart
38. Rupert McNeil, chief people officer, Government
39. Sally Austin, group HR director, Costain
40. Monique Carter, group HR director, GKN
Visit the the HR Most Influential website for profiles of our listed individuals.