Top job..Frank Douglas

Where were you working before, and what were your duties?

I was the human resources (HR) director for the international arm of Cable & Wireless. My role involved ensuring the consistent and high-quality delivery of HR solutions to the business in more than 30 countries. I also served on the divisional management board.

What qualifications do you hold?

A finance and accounting degree from the University of Notre Dame, France, and Pace University, US.

What are the duties in your new role?

Creating an end-to-end employee experience that means staff are happy to join, excited by working with Scottish & Newcastle and can’t stand the thought of leaving. I have seven direct reports and report to the chief executive.

What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Going global, in terms of mindset, talent, leadership and policies that are relevant in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, to name a few.

What is the essential tool in your job?

My noise-cancelling headphones for plane trips.

And the most overrated?

PowerPoint slides. Too many managers think it is the only means of communicating with staff.

What is the worst thing about HR?

We talk too much about HR issues and not enough about business issues.

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

One of my first UK bosses gave me a special recognition bonus on the staircase. He didn’t like the fact that I’d been awarded it and didn’t want anyone else to see.

Who is your ultimate hero?

Martin Luther King (pictured below), because he epitomised courage and conviction.

What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?


How do you fill your spare time?

I love to cook, so I am at the Borough Hall food market every Saturday and listening to some of my 250 vinyl albums.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Risk-taker, value-driven and fun.

What is your favourite web page?

The New York Times sports section.

What song gets you on the dance floor?

Any Motown song.

What is your worst habit?

Sending business e-mails on a Sunday night.


Sept 2007-present
Group HR director, Scottish & Newcastle

Oct 2005-Dec 2006
HR director, international, Cable & Wireless

Oct 2000-Sept 2005
HR director, growth businesses, Royal Dutch Shell

May 1996-Sept 2000
Head of New Wave Solutions, British Telecom

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