£500,000 on offer for incoming director-general of the CIPD

The new director-general of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) can expect to be rewarded with a package nudging £500,000 a year for leading the HR profession.

CIPD chief Geoff Armstrong is retiring in June 2008 after 16 years in the job. Figures in the institute’s annual report for the year ending 30 June 2006 revealed he was paid a total of £490,000 for his services.

The huge figure included a salary and bonus of £319,000, plus £171,000 worth of pension contributions. His total earnings represented an increase of £104,000 on the previous year.

The institute confirmed to Personnel Today that the total salary package on offer for Armstrong’s replacement is likely to be comparable. A CIPD spokesman said the salary would be “commensurate with the position’s importance and seniority”.

Armstrong’s salary compares favourably with other heads of employers’ groups. Former CBI chief Digby Jones was paid a reported £325,000 a year in his high-profile role at the UK’s biggest business group. The salary also dwarfs the advertised £125,000 on offer for CIPD research and policy director – a job now filled by Linda Holbeche.

The figure is likely to raise eyebrows among some CIPD members, as Armstrong’s salary is funded by the annual fees of the 127,000 people it has signed up. Fees for new members are a one-off payment of £113, plus an annual subscription of £113.

Senior HR professionals have been queuing up to praise Armstrong’s contribution to the profession. CIPD membership has more than doubled under his leadership, with the institute achieving ‘chartered’ status in 2000.

But one experienced HR commentator said Armstrong had done nothing more than turn the CIPD into a “money-making machine”. He said: “The institute is a professional body that has no professional standing – you don’t need a CIPD qualification to get a top job in HR.”

The announcement of Armstrong’s retirement follows the departure of his deputy Duncan Brown at the start of the month.

Feedback from the profession

“Under Armstrong’s leadership the CIPD has evolved to be much more commercial in its thinking and far more outwardly focused. Momentum will be the biggest challenge.”

Ewan McCulloch, HR director, Staples UK Retail

“No doubt the CIPD is in better health than when he joined. His successor really needs to engage top business leaders in leading and shaping the strategic people agenda for UK plc.”

Paul Pagliari, director of change and corporate services, Scottish Executive

“His influence on the HR sector has been significant, helping to shape it into a more dynamic profession that is better integrated into the heart of business.”

David Fairhurst, chief people officer, McDonald’s

“The challenge for his successor is to make CIPD membership reflect the day-to-day needs of people in the profession. And to ensure members get full value for money from their ever-increasing membership fees.”

Emma Hughes, director of group HR, Specsavers

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