Interview with Lynne Rutherford

How did you get to where you are now?

Interpersonal effectiveness, leading great teams, and getting to know the business, plus a ‘can do’ approach to everything.

What takes up most of your time at work?

Succession management.

Which three attributes are needed to do your job?

Self-awareness, integrity, and loads of energy.

What legislation causes you the most headaches?

Immigration and tax laws that make it difficult to move talent around the world.

How do you keep up with new and changing legislation?

In the UK, I try to attend updates, but in the rest of the world it’s a matter of reading as much as I can and asking the advice of my colleagues in each region.

What’s HR’s biggest legal challenge?

Immigration and tax laws that make it difficult to move talent around the world. Sorry to sound repetitive, but it drives me nuts.

What’s the most challenging case/situation you’ve had to deal with?

It was in South Africa, when I had to investigate a director for company credit card fraud. He was well-connected with a certain political party, and I had to have a 24-hour guard for myself and my family until the matter was resolved. He was found guilty and fired.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working in a global role, with a diversity of cultures and business practices.

What would be in your room 101?

HR jargon that impresses no-one.

What really annoys you in life generally?

Corporate greed.

If you could wish away one employment law, what would it be?

Well, hopefully my wish will come true – the Default Retirement Age.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Child abuse.

When you were a youngster, what was your ambition?

To be the lead violinist in an orchestra – and no, I can’t play the violin, but one can dream.

Who’s your hero?

Helen Keller. She was an American author, political activist and lecturer, and the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.


  • 2008-present, Group vice-president, talent management, Brambles
  • 2006-2008 Global HR director,talent management, Fortis, Brussels
  • 1999-2006 Various senior HR generalist and specialist roles, Aviva
  • 1997-1999 HR director, First National Corporate & Investment Banking Group (South Africa)
  • 1995-1997 HR development executive, Central News Agency (South Africa)

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