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Random House HR director crowned HRD of the year

Neil Morrison, group HR director at publishing company Random House Group, won HR Director of the Year last night at the 2013 HR Excellence Awards.

Morrison beat off stiff competition from nine other HRDs in an extremely strong shortlist, which included: HRD Marks and Spencer, Tanith Dodge, head of HR and OD and communications at Somerset County Council, Richard Crouch, group HRD at Whitbread, Louise Smalley, and VP HR at KFC UK and Ireland, James Watts.

According to a number of people who voted to make him HR Director of the Year 2013, Morrison is a "breath of fresh air in HR".

One HR manager said that reading his blog has made her a better HR professional; another admires him for "being more than just an HRD internally and externally, and being proactive to our profession".

Morrison said: "Monday was a big day for Random House [because of the merger with Penguin], and this award means we are doing everything right about our people.

"I come into work to do the right thing for people everyday. I want this to be the right organisation for people. It's been a big week for us, and this is just the cherry on the cake."

Morrison has been in post for more than four years and runs an HR department of 12. He is also one of the leads in the global HR workstream and helped steer the merger between Random House and Penguin - the most significant merger in publishing history, which will bring together almost 11,000 employees around the world.

In order to choose this award, HR magazine calls for nominations then the HR editorial team researches those who have been nominated, looking at their achievements during 2012/13.

The shortlist is then put out to readers to vote. Only one vote per company is allowed and votes from the shortlisted HR director's own company are disqualified.