People

Boxing
and motorcycling may not be everyone’s idea of relaxation, but Alan Cairns
cites these as his chosen methods to relieve everyday stress.

You
could say he’s married to the job because his wife Rachel is a personnel
manager, although he is at pains to point out they never discuss HR at home.

He
joins from chemical specialists GE Betz, where he was HR leader for Northern
Europe and responsible for a major integration process after an acquisition.

Exide
Motive Power manufactures and sells batteries for use on trucks and mining
vehicles and Cairns will have responsibility for providing a complete HR
strategy to the business across Europe.

"My
four initial tasks will be to put in place robust policies which are globally
consistent while taking account of cultural variation, developing the
succession plan to deliver quality leadership candidates, positioning Exide as
an employer of choice and fostering true two-way communication," he
explains.

Cairns
desperately wants to establish the credibility of HR as a valuable business
tool and hopes to be part of the mainstream business objectives. However, he
still wants people issues at the top of the agenda and hopes to make the
company a fun place to work: "I want to be regarded by the business as a
true partner, one who is fully involved in more than just HR issues, but in the
running of the business," he says. "I want to develop credibility
quickly, and use this to put people issues at the top of the agenda. My aim is
to recruit, develop, motivate and most importantly reward and retain talent for
Exide. At the same time I want work to be a fun place to be," he adds.

He
is most looking forward to the European aspect of the role which allows him to
work across a range of different cultures and styles.

CV

2002
European HR director, Exide Motive Power
2000 Northern Europe HR leader, GE Betz (formerly Hercules)
1998 Operations manager, compact products, JCB
1996 HR manager, JCB

On
the move

Anchor
Seafoods has appointed Michael Kimber as its new group personnel manager. He
will have responsibility for 200 staff across two divisions in Norfolk and
Sussex. Kimber joins the seafood company from Bookpoint, a book distributor
within WHSmith, where he was HR manager. He has been charged with developing a
cutting-edge training and development programme within the next three years.

Linda
Thomas has joined property and grounds maintenance company Quadron Services as
HR manager. She will oversee the HR function for more than 1,100 staff based at
nine locations around the country. Thomas was previously with the Wildfowl and
Wetlands Trust. She will form part of the management team and is responsible
for developing HR strategies to help improve the firm’s market position.

Ray
Harrison has joined Abbey National as training and development manager for the
offshore division. He has more than 14 years experience of training and
training management within the financial services sector. He joins from Royal
London, where he was a field training manager. He will be based in Jersey and
hopes to engender a self-directed learning culture, where staff have the
resources readily available to them.

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