Top job…Jacky Wearn

What is your new role?

Director of people and organisation capability for Microsoft EMEA.

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I’ve been at Microsoft for the past six-and-a-half years and was previously EMEA HR director for Microsoft’s small business division.

What qualifications do you hold?

A BSc in economics, an MA in HR management and I’m a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

What are the duties in your new role?

To drive the people and organisation capability agenda for the EMEA region, including talent management, leadership development, change management/organisational development, and the learning agenda. The EMEA region covers 11,000 people and I am building up a team of eight consultants.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

To continue to drive the quality and depth of Microsoft’s leadership profile and to improve our focus on attracting, developing and retaining top talent in the organisation.

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

To leave behind the old discussions on whether we have a seat at the top table, and focus instead on driving the people agenda for our business.

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

It’s a great career, but if you want to get to the top, make sure you have a rich and varied experience in a variety of functions, not just HR.

What is the essential tool in your job?

My network.

And the most overrated?

My tablet PC – it keeps crashing.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The constant soul-searching about whether we are a valued function or not.

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

Working with an ex-psychotherapist coach with a very ‘hands-on’ style. Say no more…

Who is your ultimate guru?

Charles Handy.

What is your essential TV viewing?

The World Cup. I keep telling my husband how lucky he is to have a wife who loves football.

How do you fill your spare time?

I have a 14-month-old daughter. I am also a keen sportswoman – I love adventure racing, mountain biking and running.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Probably shark diving in Fiji as a novice diver.

What song gets you on the dance floor?

Ain’t Nobody, by Chaka Khan.

What would be your dream job?

HR director for the 2012 Olympics. I thought about it…

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Kate Beckinsale, although Edwina Currie is more of a lookalike for me.

What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?

Microsoft always holds great summer parties – a couple of years ago we had Madness and Basement Jaxx playing for us.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Jimi Hendrix and his guitar.


April 2006 – EMEA director, people and organisation capability, Microsoft

2002-2006 – EMEA HR director, services and small business, Microsoft

1999-2002 – UK HR manager, Microsoft

1994-1999 – Manager, UK, Ireland and South Africa, Accenture HR

1991-1994 – Management consultant, Accenture

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