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From HR to CEO

19 March 2024

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Story by
Adrian Tan HR Influencer

Adrian Tan, HR Influencer, asks why you never hear about HR chiefs becoming CEOs?

Within the realms for HR, there is one question that persistently caught me dumbfounded for words. And that is the number of (Singapore) CHROs that become CEOs.

For the longest time, I did not have an answer because no one naturally came to my mind. Are there even any CHROs that became CEO?

In the global context, yes.

There are a number of them that took over the top job at companies. People such as:

  1. Lisa M. Weber - Former President of MetLife
  2. Mary Barra - CEO of General Motors, who held HR roles before her CEO ascension.
  3. Nigel Travis - CEO of Dunkin' Brands Group (2009-Present), previously head of HR for Burger King.
  4. Anne Mulcahy - CEO of Xerox (2001-2009), worked as vice president for human resources before becoming CEO.
  5. Bernard Fontana - CEO of Areva (2015), was the CHRO of ArcelorMittal before becoming CEO.

So why can’t I immediately think of a single name in my local context?

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