Nick Hoad has joined Tragus Holdings, the restaurant group that owns Café
Rouge and Bella Pasta. He joins the firm from Groupe Chez Gerard where he was in
charge of the HR and training functions. It will be Hoad’s second spell at the
company, having previously worked for Bella Pasta between 1991 and 1997. In his
new role he will oversee the company’s separation from Whitbread and the
rollout of a new training and development programme.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

To create a company that is well known and respected in the restaurant
sector and work with my colleagues to expand the business.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

During my first job at Land Rover I had to handle the departure of night
shift workers exposed by the News of the World for sleeping on the night shift.

How do you think the role of HR will change over the next five years?

More guidance and information will be available via the intranet or web and
there is a risk the role will become less personal and more remote.

Who is the ultimate guru?

Robert Zimmerman, the poet, and singer songwriter.

What is your essential viewing?

The Office, since my new team would love me to be more like David Brent.

How do you fill your spare time?

I’m a football fanatic and season ticket holder at West Bromwich Albion, who
have returned to their rightful place.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Other than the odd flutter at the bookies, I do not take risks.

What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?

Work in factory, shop, restaurant, or an environment unrelated to HR before
starting out, to provide a broad experience of work.

Do you network?


Hoad’s CV

2002 HR director, Tragus Holdings

1999 HR director, Groupe Chez Gerard

1998 HR director, Queensboro Holdings

1997 HR manager, Wizard Inns

On the move

Mark Childs, director of global compensation and benefits at Fidelity
Investment, has taken up a role within the CIPD. He has just joined the team as
the new vice-president for reward and will be working with CIPD advisers to
explore the issues and lead the debate around reward. He replaces Vicky Wright.

Tim Smith has been appointed programme manager at learning provider MOL. He
will assume responsibility for management programmes ensuring all courses are
delivered to the highest standards. Smith has more than 16 years experience of
working in higher education delivering and managing programmes from HND
Business Studies to MBA. He has previously worked at the University of Durham
as programme manager for SME Development.

John Blenkinsopp has joined Newcastle University Business School as a
lecturer in HRM. He will also be the course director of the university’s
executive MBA. Blenkinsopp moved to the business school from Northumbria
University, where he taught and managed HRM courses. In the new role he wants
to focus on the HRM contribution to the wider strategic issues.

The Welsh Development Agency has appointed Zoe Harcombe as its new executive
director of HR. She has held HR positions at several companies including Mars,
Smithkline Beecham and Alcatel. She will play a major role in the ‘creating
success together’ initiative which aims to develop a culture of teamwork.
Harcombe will lead a team of 16 HR staff across Wales.

The specialist career counselling firm IDDAS has recruited Lord Freeman, the
former cabinet minister, to its advisory panel. IDDAS provides career
transition advice and counselling to senior executives, in particular those
making the transition from corporate life to an independent second career. Lord
Freeman joins Elizabeth Filkin – the former Parliamentary Commissioner for
Standards, who joined IDDAS in April – on the panel. Lord Freeman was made a
life peer in 1997 and returned to the commercial world as a partner at
PricewaterhouseCoopers, for whom he continues to act as a consultant.

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