HRMI 2018: Ann Pickering tops list of influential practitioners
Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, September 18, 2018
HR magazine unveiled its 2018 Most Influential rankings at an exclusive event at Claridge's last night
The HR Most Influential rankings, in partnership with LifeSight, recognise the HR practitioners and thinkers pushing people strategy forward. HR Most Influential is now in its 13th year.
Ann Pickering, HR director of Telefónica UK, was revealed as this year's most influential practitioner. Pickering was praised for being someone who “doesn’t make a fuss about the amazing things they’ve done, and just quietly gets on with it”.
“I have nothing to say other than that I am exceptionally honoured. I have worked alongside Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth for many years and am proud to even be in her shadow, so I am truly honoured. Thank you," she said.
Hughes-D’Aeth, HR director for the BBC, took third place (she also ranked third in 2017). She reflected on some of the challenges the organisation had faced over the past year in her acceptance speech. “I’m truly shocked. We’ve had one hell of a year at the BBC, but it’s a fantastic time to be in HR,” she said.
“We’ve had to deal with the gender pay gap, we’ve had to deal with how much our presenters should be paid. This has been our most difficult year, but I do feel we’re in a much better place, so thank you very much.”
Althea Loderick, strategic director of resources at Brent Council, was ranked second most influential practitioner for the second year running.
Accepting Loderick’s award on her behalf, MD of Chameleon People Solutions and former director of human resources at the Metropolitan Police. Martin Tiplady described her as “a down to earth, ambitious, and very strong willed HR director.”
"She is someone who has dealt with personal and professional challenges her whole life, that she has just brushed aside, and dealt with in the most pleasant of ways. This is thoroughly deserved,” he said.
In a moving speech David Orme paid tribute to his late wife Jackie Orme, former chief executive of the CIPD and former chief people officer for PepsiCo, who was posthumously awarded an HR Lifetime Achievement Award to join the HR Most Influential Hall of Fame.
He said: “I am very proud of Jackie. For those of you who knew her: she was incredibly brave, incredibly focused, but she never made it about herself. It was always about the people she worked with, the people she worked for, and it was about making a difference.”
Also joining the HR Most Influential Hall of Fame this year was Priscilla Vacassin, former HR director of Prudential, who was also recognised posthumously. Her son Daniel Vacassin praised his mother for being a trailblazer in the field and for championing diversity, particularly women on boards.
Vacassin described her as a dedicated mother who worked tirelessly while supporting her children. He added that the award was a “really nice recognition for the other love of her life, which was her work."
Here are the top 40 practitioners:
|1||Ann Pickering||HR director||Telefónica UK|
|2||Althea Loderick||Strategic director for resources||Brent Council|
|3||Valerie Hughes-D'Aeth||Group HR director||BBC|
|4||Simon Linares||Group HR director||Direct Line|
|5||Siobhán Sheridan||Civilian human resources director||Ministry of Defence|
|6||Louise Smalley||Group HR director||Whitbread|
|7||Andrew Dodman||Chief operating officer||University of Sheffield|
|8||Eugenio Pirri||Chief people and culture officer||Dorchester Collection|
|9||Mandy Coalter||Director of people||United Learning|
|10||Natalie Bickford||Group HR director||Merlin Entertainments Group|
|11||Kate Guthrie||Group HR director||CYBG|
|12||Sally Austin||Group HR director||Costain|
|13||Jabbar Sardar||HR director||BBC Studios|
|14||Julie Welch||Group HR director||Bunzl|
|15||Neil Morrison||HR director||Severn Trent|
|16||Danny Harmer||Chief people officer||Metro Bank|
|17||Matt Elliot||People director||Virgin Money|
|18||Annette Kelleher||Chief HR officer||Johnson Matthey|
|19||Rupert McNeil||Chief people officer||Government|
|20||Shokat Lal||Assistant chief executive||Rotherham Council|
|21||Kathryn Austin||Chief people & marketing director||Pizza Hut Restaurants|
|22||Des Pullen||Group HR director||Associated British Foods|
|23||Toby Peyton-Jones||HR director||Siemens UK & North West Europe|
|24||Geoff Tranfield||Group HR director||IMI|
|25||Janet King||Director of HR and corporate services and deputy chief executive||Frimley Health Foundation Trust|
|26||Gail Clark||Head of workforce change||London Borough of Barking and Dagenham|
|27||Leena Nair||Chief HR officer||Unilever|
|28||Claire Gore||Director of HR and OD||London North West University Healthcare NHS|
|29||Ben Bengougam||Senior vice president HR EMEA||Hilton|
|30||Mark Sandham||Senior vice president and chief operating officer human resources||Thomson Reuters|
|31||Baljinder Kang||Executive director of HR & learning||Midland Heart|
|32||Deborah Baker||Group director for people||Sky|
|33||Martyn Dicker||Former director of people & learning||The Prince's Trust|
|34||Erica Coletta||Chief HR officer||pladis Global|
|35||Carol Kavanagh||Group HR director||Travis Perkins Group|
|36||Deborah Lee||Chief people officer||Yoox Net-A-Porter Group|
|37||Jonathan Crookall||People director||Halfords|
|38||John Stewart||Director of HR||SSE|
|39||Claire Hall||Executive vice president people||Menzies Aviation|
|40||Sarah Morris||Chief people officer||Aviva|
Visit the HR Most Influential website for all our listed individuals and their profiles.