British Airways appoints Tony McCarthy from Royal Mail as new human resources chief

British Airways has announced Tony McCarthy as its new human resources chief.

In a surprise move, he joins the airline as director of people next month from Royal Mail, where he was group director people and organisational development.

McCarthy’s departure leaves one of the biggest HR jobs in the UK up for grabs and caps a tough few months for Royal Mail following a bitter dispute with its main over over pay, modernisation and pensions.

Tony McCarthy steps into the role vacated by Neil Robertson in January this year.

The director for people is responsible for the people policies for BA’s 43,000 staff in the UK and overseas covering organisation and development, training and recruitment, pay and reward, industrial relations, employee relations and culture change.

Just last week, a BA spokesman told Personnel Today that the recruitment process was “ongoing”

Willie Walsh, BA’s chief executive, said: “I’m delighted Tony is joining us and I look forward to welcoming him to British Airways in early December. He is bringing the leadership qualities and vision that will shape and direct our people strategy and make this an even greater place to work.”

Prior to joining the Royal Mail, McCarthy, 51, spent almost 25 years with BAE Systems and held a range of top-level human resources roles, including the post of group HR director.

He is chair of the Centre for Performance Led HR, a group of HR academics and top practitioners, and recently became vice president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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