McDonald’s chief people officer David Fairhurst crowned Personnel Today’s top power player

McDonald’s chief people officer David Fairhurst was crowned Personnel Today’s top power player last Tuesday at the annual Top 40 Power Players awards.

The list, sponsored by recruitment company Interim Performers, marks the movers and shakers in the HR industry – individuals that have changed how people work within their own organisations and in the wider fields of employment law and politics.

Fairhurst, who climbed four places to reach top place, has been at the forefront of the fast food chain’s drive to change ingrained views about the ‘McJob’.

Efforts have included a training website offering its 67,000 UK employers access to GCSE-equivalent qualifications.


Personnel Today Top 40 Power Players
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David FairhurstPower Players winner David Fairhurst of McDonald’s in front of Wellington Arch, London, where the evnt was held.

See the full Top 40 list

Fairhurst said he was “thrilled” to be in the number one position. He told Personnel Today: “HR has to inspire and engage with its people. We [HR] need to stop talking about what we are called, it’s about what we stand for, our values, what we deliver. We must think about employee expectations.”

Chris Bones, principal of Henley Management College, has recently called for HR to get back to basics and restore the value of transactional activities.

Fairhurst “completely agrees” with restoring the basic function of HR. He said: “The future of HR is going to be all about being disciplined as a profession.

“Good HR teams will take a pride in delivering the basics to the highest standards, with service levels that achieve outstanding levels of customer satisfaction. Poor HR teams, on the other hand, will dismiss these transactions as humdrum and menial while being seduced by the notion of ‘being strategic’.”

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