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HRMI 2017: Siobhan Sheridan tops list of influential practitioners

The 2017 HR Most Influential rankings have been revealed

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.