Peter Bennett has been made vice-president of HR at the independent luxury
hotel group Le Meridien. Bennett is responsible for more than 30,000 employees
at the group’s portfolio of 145 hotels across 55 countries.

He will oversee training and development, diversity and equality schemes, HR
operations, employee relations, performance management and compensation and

"Our business plan is about growth and transformation in a very people
oriented company," he says. "The HR role is designed to help deliver
the business plan.

"There are 30,000 people in this organisation and I have to ensure HR
measures are effectively implemented around the world."

Bennett, who has spent 20 years in HR, joins from Thomas Cook where he was
responsible for driving major change initiatives and restructuring the
business, including the acquisition of Carlson’s UK leisure operation.

Bennett intends to drive the business forward by introducing HR measures,
and sees the function as inexorably linked to the success of the firm: "HR
is essential in understanding what drives a business," he says.
"Ideally I hope to enhance the service and performance culture in the
business and support the development of a market-led organisation."


2002 Vice-president of HR, Le Meridien
1999 HR director, Thomas Cook
1991 Director of personnel, Boots Healthcare International
1981 Variety of HR roles, BOCGroup

On the move

Shuna Kennedy has joined charity
AbilityNet as chief executive. The provider of expertise on disability and
computer access employs a specially trained team of more than 40 experts across
the country, offering disabled people of all ages advice, information, and
support and access to IT. The charity also runs professional education courses
and seminars and last year attracted 3,000 staff from the public, private and
voluntary sectors. The seminars raise awareness of adaptive technology for
those with disabling conditions and teach practical solutions to apply in the

The Chartered Institute of Personnel
and Development (CIPD) has appointed Duncan Brown as its assistant director
general. The former partner at HR consultancy Towers Perrin will lead the
institute’s research and policy unit. His remit includes raising the CIPD’s
profile and communicating the value of HR to business, the public sector and
policy makers. He started out as a personnel officer with Vauxhall and has
since advised organisations including Shell, Prudential, Abbey National and the

Vehicle rental company Hertz has
promoted Niamh Grimes to director of HR. She replaces James Shipside who leaves
after 20 years service. Grimes reports to HR vice-president Eamonn Ward. Prior
to her promotion she held various HR posts at Hertz’s European service centre
in Dublin. She joined the firm in 1997 and has a degree in French and a
postgraduate diploma in marketing management. Hertz has more than 7,000
locations across Europe.

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