• Mike Higgins has been appointed HR director of Wincanton Logistics. An economics graduate from the University of Manchester, Higgins has held positions in all aspects of HR management at major blue-chip companies, including ICI and Glaxo. In 1993 he was appointed group HR director for the UK and Ireland with German chemical and pharmaceutical multinational Bayer where he initiated a pan-European management development programme.
His key priorities at Wincanton will be driving forward technology-enabled training and development capabilities for the firm’s 15,000 staff across more than 200 locations via the company’s intranet.
• Alan Pankhurst has been appointed personnel director at Guardian Newspapers.
Pankhurst, previously group personnel director for Guardian Media Group, will head GMG’s People Department and will serve the company’s board. He will continue to provide support to Guardian Media Group executives as group personnel adviser.
Pankhurst has been a personnel professional for the past 30 years, 22 of which at director level.
He was previously personnel director of Central TV and was at the heart of the merger of Central and Carlton. For three years before He joined GMG in February 1998 as a consultant, and was made group personnel director six months later.
• Susan Alexander has been appointed HR manager at tortilla chip manufacturer Mission Foods Europe. Alexander will head Mission’s HR team and will have responsibility for the 200-strong administration and factory-based workforce at the production facility. Reporting directly to managing director Nick Houghton, she will be responsible for setting up the company’s employment policies and for instigating team communication channels.
Alexander joins Mission from Kettleby Foods – part of the Samworth Brothers Group – which specialises in the production of own-label recipe dishes for UK retailers. Alexander gained experience in web site development working as part of the start-up team at Mission’s Leicester site.
• Sue Robinson has been appointed group recruitment manager at IT services company Sanderson. Robinson’s previous role was at Austin Benn consultants in Birmingham where she worked on sales recruitment and business development. She will be responsible for Sanderson’s recruitment across nine offices. A mathematics graduate from the University of Northumbria, Robinson spent four years in the Royal Navy, where she held the position of warfare officer.