Top 40 Power Players know how to make a difference

It was a privilege and a delight to be among the great and the good of HR at our VIP reception to celebrate Personnel Today’s Top 40 Power Players 2007, held at the Wellington Arch in central London last week.

This year’s list, produced in association with Interim Performers, has a fair number of new faces, as we asked you to nominate the movers and shakers you thought should be included. We’ve also introduced 10 ‘ones to watch’ – the people we believe will be climbing up the rankings in years to come. You can find the full results starting on page 22.

We acknowledge that Personnel Today’s Top 40 choices always prompt much debate, so if you’d like to share your views with us, e-mail

There are several things that all our power players have in common: they are innovative, they’re creative, they’re brave, they’re at the top of their game, and they lead where others follow. Most importantly, they’re not afraid to stand up and be counted, and what they do has an impact beyond their own organisations. Basically, they’re making a huge difference.

Everyone who attended our exclusive event last week agreed that David Fairhurst, senior vice-president and chief people officer at McDonald’s, was absolutely deserving of the top spot. One senior HR figure commented: “Its tremendous David is top. I have known him since he was at Tesco, and although he is fantastic on the promotion and PR side, he is also a deep thinker about HR and the academic side of it, and really cares about his people. Great choice.”

Fairhurst – the public face of McDonald’s employer brand – says he has always aimed for a balance of “confidence and humility”. He certainly served up a large portion of the latter when, in his acceptance speech, he said that this win was great not just for McDonald’s, but for the thousands of people who work in the hospitality sector.

As the brand supremos would say: Not bad for a McJob.

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