Friday, 23 October 2009

What does it take to get to the board?

Narayan has an interesting view, on what it would take to get into the board. Whilst Narayan specifically focuses on how the HR function can make it , i thought i would perhaps explore more generically what it takes to get to the board.

in my opinion, the functions that are closest to the money trail, have the natural advantage when it comes to being chosen to leadership roles in the company- typically money trail functions are Revenue generators (Sales or consulting), Revenue fulfillers (delivery/ production) and Finance. which is reflected in the fact that most CEOs are from these functions.

Other functions have had their successes- for instance, typical B2C marketing led companies (eg Colgate Palmolive/ Unilever) have a tendency to be marketing led in leadership- but this is because the marketing function typically owns the p&l - for example a brand manager at the age of 24, get to own the p&l of their brands (i was one) - hence get close to the money trail.

Finally, i hardly think HR has to lose hope- look at the following list of HR people who became global CEOs of F-500 companies :

-Tim Solso of Cummins
-Nigel Travis of Dunkin Donuts.
-Stan Askren, CEO of HON, HNI Corp (office furniture manufacturer in Iowa)
-Lisa Weber, HR Exec who became President of MetLife’s Individual Business unit
-Bill Stevens, the CEO of Motion Industries ($3B division of Genuine Parts)
-John Hofmeister, was EVP of Global HR for Shell Oil before President of Shell Oil (currently retired)
-Howard Stoeckel, CEO of Wawa ($5B convenience store company)
-Joe Frick, CEO, Independence Blue Cross ($10B insurance)
-Colleen Barrett, former President of Southwest Airlines

in reference to-- Talk » Blog Archive » HR and the Board (view on Google Sidewiki)


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