Most Influential Practitioners by Sector

Construction and property

Paul Raby, group HR director, Balfour Beatty

Raby has been group HRD for Balfour Beatty, an international infrastructure group, since 2005

Richard Latham, group HR director, Persimmon

Richard Latham has been group HR director at Persimmon since August 2001

Julie Welch, chief people officer, Carey Group

Julie joined the Carey Group at Executive Board level in the newly created role of Chief People Officer in February 2019 where she is responsible for the creation and delivery of the people strategy...

Sally Smith, group director of people, Places for People

?As group director of people at Places for People, Sally Smith oversees more than 12,500 colleagues across the group’s diverse businesses

Paula Jordan, group HR director, McCarthy & Stone

McCarthy & Stone, a FTSE 250 company, is the UK’s leading developer, manager and owner of retirement communities


Helene Speight, interim HR director, Millbrook

?Helene Speight is interim HR director for Millbrook, a leader in automotive testing, design and engineering

Rosemary McGinness, chief people officer, The Weir Group

Rosemary McGinness is a commercially-focussed HR leader who has worked across several sectors including hospitality, business process outsourcing, consumer goods and manufacturing

Geoff Tranfield, group HR director, IMI

Geoff Tranfield has worked in HR for almost 30 years, in a variety of industries including rail, automotive, utilities, oil and gas and manufacturing?

Jim Devine, group HR director, Spirax-Sarco Engineering

Jim Devine joined Spirax-Sarco Engineering as group HR director in 2016

Financial services

Kate Griffiths-Lambeth, group HR director, Charles Stanley

?Kate Griffiths-Lambeth joined Charles Stanley as group HR director in 2015 and was appointed to the executive committee in 2017. She is the first HR professional and woman to hold such a role since...

Matt Elliott, chief people officer, Bank of Ireland

?Matt Elliott joined the Bank of Ireland in early 2019 as a member of the executive team delivering a strategic plan to transform the business

Beata Gawarecka-Green, head of human resources, Triton Partners

Gawarecka-Green is responsible for the human resources function

Annette Andrews, chief people officer, Lloyd's of London

?Annette Andrews joined Lloyd’s in January 2015 as HR director

Tristram Roberts, group HR director, Barclays

?Roberts is the group human resources director and a member of the group executive committee

Hospitality, leisure and travel

Ella Bennett, group people director, Easyjet

Bennett joined EasyJet as group people director in May 2018 from Sainsbury’s Argos

Steve Rockey, people director, Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group

Steve Rockey is people director for Hampshire-based Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group – a selection of boutique country house hotels across the south of England

Rob Bray, people director, Nando's

?Rob Bray, previously of Tesco, joined Nando’s in 2016 as people director for the UK and Republic of Ireland

Louise Smalley, group HR director, Whitbread

Louise Smalley was appointed to the main board of Whitbread in 2012, making the hospitality business one of the most diverse in the FTSE 100 in terms of the number of female board members

Jon Dawson, director of HR, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London and One Hyde Park Residences

?Dawson has held a variety of human resources positions within the hospitality sector and is currently the director of human resources for the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London Hotel and One Hyde...


Emma Rose, HR director, Kerry Foods

Emma Rose has been the HR director for Kerry Foods since January 2016

David Frost, group organisational development director, Total Produce

Frost's career started in automotive manufacturing after he graduated with a degree in manufacturing engineering

Valerie Todd, HR director, Siemens UK and Ireland

Valerie Todd is the HR director for Siemens UK and Ireland

Leena Nair, chief HR officer, Unilever

Nair's purpose is “to ignite the human spark in everyone – to build a better business, and a better world”

Giovanni Giordano, former group HR director, BAT

Giovanni Giordano joined the management board of British American Tobacco (BAT) in June 2011

Media, marketing, publishing and print

Mark Sandham, senior vice president and chief operating officer, human resources, Thomson Reuters

Mark Sandham is a commercially-oriented global HR executive with more than 25 years' experience in HR as well as line business management

Jabbar Sardar, HR director, BBC Studios

Jabbar Sardar is HR director for BBC Studios, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC that oversees TV production, channels and distribution globally

Neil Foulger, managing director, HR, Liberty Global

Neil Foulger represents Liberty Global's HR interests in the Dutch joint venture with Vodafone

Paul Chesworth, chief people officer, Perform Group

Paul Chesworth has just celebrated his 30th year as a human resources specialist

Mobile telecommunications

Ann Pickering, HR director, O2 (Telefónica UK)

Ann Pickering joined O2 (Telefónica UK) in 2004, was appointed to the UK board as HR director in 2008, and appointed CHRO and chief of staff in January 2018

Jacky Simmonds, chief people officer, Veon

Jacky Simmonds is an experienced HR executive having worked in a number of sectors including media, medical research, travel and aviation

Alison Wilcox, group HR director, BT Group

Alison Wilcox joined BT in July 2015 as group HR director

Not for profit

Baljinder Kang, executive director of people services, Midland Heart

Kang has more than 25 years of operational and strategic HR experience across sectors including private, public, voluntary and not-for-profit

Kerry Smith, director of people and organisational development, British Heart Foundation

Smith joined the British Heart Foundation in October 2013 from the Royal Horticultural Society, where she headed up human resources for eight years and supported transformational change across the...

Martyn Dicker, director of people, Unicef UK

Martyn Dicker is the director of people for Unicef UK, having joined early this year

Helen Giles, executive director of people and governance, St Mungo’s Broadway

?Since Giles joined the senior team of St Mungo’s in 2014 following a large-scale merger she has led a major programme of integration and process and cultural transformation

Peter Reeve, head of HR, Motor Neurone Disease Association

??Peter Reeve is the head of HR for the MND Association and chair of the Charity HR Network

Oil, gas and mining

Ronan Cassidy, chief human resources and corporate officer, Royal Dutch Shell

Ronan Cassidy is chief human resources and corporate officer at Royal Dutch Shell, a position he has held since January 2016

Helmut Schuster, executive vice president, group human resources director, BP

Helmut Schuster became group HR director in March 2011. In this role he is accountable for the BP human resources function.

Public sector

Rupert McNeil, chief people officer, Government

Rupert McNeil was appointed as government chief people officer in January 2016, joining the civil service from Lloyds Banking Group where he was group HR director

Siobhán Sheridan, chief people director, Ministry of Defence

Siobhán Sheridan joined the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in July 2017 as civilian HR director. She is responsible for the workforce of 57,000 civil servants, the broader civilian and contractor...

Kessar Kalim, director of HR, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

?Kessar Kalim is the director of HR at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a globally-renowned public research university reputable for its research, postgraduate studies and...

Debbie Alder, director general, people and capability, Department for Work and Pensions

?Alder took on the expanded role of director general, people and capability in April 2019

Stephen Moir, executive director of resources, City of Edinburgh Council

?With an annual operating budget of more than £1.3 billion and employing 18,500 people, the City of Edinburgh Council delivers more than 700 public services to the people who live, work, study in or...


Andrea Cartwright, former chief people officer, Superdry

Cartwright has led the business through rapid growth, international diversification and a change of executive leadership

Deborah Lee, group engagement director, Compass Group

?Deborah Lee joined Compass as its first group engagement director in August of this year

Andrew Stephenson, group people director, Lookers

Andrew Stephenson joined Lookers in 2016 as group people director. Lookers is one of the UK’s leading automotive dealers

Carol Kavanagh, group HR director, Travis Perkins Group

Carol Kavanagh is group HR director for Travis Perkins, which is the UK's largest distributor of building materials, with a prestigious history dating back more than 200 years

Sharon Benson, HR director, Studio Retail

Sharon Benson is an experienced HR executive with a proven track record of partnering with board members and private equity stakeholders

Support services

Jo Davis, group HR director, Mitie

?Mitie is the UK’s leading facilities management business, employing 52,500 people in the UK and Ireland

Jane Storm, chief people officer, Saga Group

Jane Storm starts her new role as chief people officer and executive committee member of Saga Group, the financial services and travel business, in October 2019

Raj Verma, global SVP human resources, Sodexo

Verma joined Sodexo UK and Ireland in 2007 as an HR director. Following several international roles, including time living and working in Australia, he was appointed as senior vice president, human...

Paula Leach, global chief people officer, FDM Group

Paula Leach is the global chief people officer for FDM Group, a role which she undertook in April 2019 having previously been chief people officer for The Home Office

Ian Nicholas, chief HR officer, Reed

Nicholas sits on the global board of REED, alongside the CFO and the chairman and chief executive James Reed. The three of them oversee all group operations


Tania Garrett, senior director employee experience EMEA, Adobe

Garrett joined the EMEA employee experience team at Adobe in May 2016

Stephen Pierce, deputy managing director and chief HR officer, Hitachi Europe

?Stephen Pierce is deputy managing director and chief HR officer of Hitachi Europe, part of a Japanese company with a vision of creating ‘a better society through technology'


Darren Hockaday, HR director, Gatwick Airport

Hockaday has more than 18 years in HR with experience in transport, infrastructure, aerospace, engineering, retail and manufacturing

Alison Rumsey, chief HR officer, Associated British Ports

?Alison Rumsey joined Associated British Ports (ABP) as chief HR officer in July 2019

Jo MacPhail, HR director, CrossCountry Trains

?Jo MacPhail joined CrossCountry trains in December 2016 as HR director

Claire Hall, global executive vice president of people, Menzies Aviation

?Hall joined Menzies in October 2017, to oversee a global workforce of 35,000

Alison Bell, HR director, MTR Crossrail

Alison Bell has been a HR professional for more than 15 years, starting in healthcare, waste management and aviation before moving into rail in 2012


Neil Morrison, director of HR, Severn Trent

Neil Morrison is the director of HR for Severn Trent, one of the UK's largest water companies and a member of the FTSE 100

John Stewart, Director of HR, SSE

John Stewart is the director of HR for SSE, one of the biggest energy companies in the UK