Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?
I was working with Airbus in the south of France, having been recruited in 2002 to lead the people aspects of the integration of the four companies that merged to create the organisation.
What qualifications do you hold?
A first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from Bristol University.
What are the duties in your new role?
I am responsible for all aspects of delivery. This includes ensuring the quality, reliability and financial aspects of our programmes and consultancy offering.
What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?
HR needs to continue to demonstrate that it makes a direct and constructive difference to the bottom line.
What is the most overrated tool in your job?
Any tool that tries to get in the way of direct contact between managers and staff is unhelpful.
What is the worst thing about HR?
Too many HR people reflecting on whether there is a role for it.
How do you wind down after a bad day in the office?
I like to swim, walk, and spend time with the kids.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
Running a workshop on a raft while travelling down a river in Germany.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Proactive, determined and creative.
What was your lucky break?
Having the opportunity to take a generalist HR role in Toulouse for Matra Marconi Space during the late 1990s.
What do you regret about your career?
Who was your childhood hero?
Cartoon character ‘Marine Boy’ – he could swim underwater with the aid of oxygen tablets.
Tell us about your best ever holiday.
Surfing, sailing and enjoying the sun and the sand in Cornwall as a child.
What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?
Learn about business and don’t propose any HR activity or initiative without being clear on what difference it will make to the bottom line.
Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.
Listen, learn, lead.
Present: Director of learning delivery, National School of Government (provider of learning, consultancy and thought leadership to the public sector)
Oct 2002-Jun 2008: Vice-president, people integration and HR strategy, Airbus (aviation and aerospace)
Feb 2001-Oct 2002: Director, management development, Logica (IT)
Feb 1999- Feb 2001: Group director, training and development , Sema Group (now Atos Origin) (IT)
Jun 1997-Jan 1999: HR business partner, Matra Marconi Space (defence and space)