· People

HRMI 2021: Frank Douglas, CEO and founder, Caerus Executive

Frank Douglas, is a chartered companion of CIPD and CEO and founder of Caerus Executive.

Born in Mississippi, Douglas spent the major part of his professional and personal life in New York City. However, for the last 20 years he has lived and worked outside the USA (over 17 years in the UK), most recently, as CEO of Caerus Executive.

Caerus Executive works with private equity firms, international companies and professional service firms interested in maximizing the performance of their organizations through effective leadership, diversity, inclusion, and transformational HR programmes.

In four short years, Douglas has grown Caerus to be one of the most respected consulting firms on diversity, inclusion, culture, and leadership.

Caerus is the industry leader in providing ‘pure-play’ (they do not sell workshops, training, off-the-self solutions) strategic consulting services to more companies in more industry sectors than any other firm. Clients have included organisations such as the BBC, ITV, M&C Saatchi, Bloomberg, Pfizer, and Network Rail.

Prior to founding Caerus Executive, Douglas was executive vice president and group human resources director/CHRO for Misys (now Finastra), part of the executive team credited with helping to turn around that organization. He is the first (and currently only) black man to be the group human resources director of a FTSE 100 organisation.

Douglas is a chartered companion of the CIPD and served there for six years as a non-executive director. In 2019, he was elected a non-executive director/trustee of City and Guilds Group.

Douglas has a strong passion for developing leaders and organizations in emerging markets, particularly in Africa, and managed one of the biggest organizational/culture changes for Shell’s Nigerian operation.

In July 2017 was awarded an honorary doctorate (Ph.D.), by Middlesex University. He is also a repeat guest on BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

In his early days, Douglas was a semi-professional trumpet player. He enjoys participating in many sports including tennis, scuba diving and skiing.

Recommended reading:

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Number of black FTSE 100 leaders drops to zero due to "vanilla boys' club" of senior leaders


Frank Douglas was ranked ninth on the list of HR Most Influential Thinkers in 2021.