Major CHRO movements in the year 2020

Major CHRO movements in the year 2020
We have seen multiple CHRO/ Head HR movements across the industry and despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we highlight some of the major movements in the year 2020.

Major CHRO movements in the year 2020

2020 has been difficult and the most disruptive year for lives, businesses, and all functions including Human Resources, but leadership movements never stop. We have seen multiple CHRO/ Head HR movements across the industry and despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we highlight some of the major HR movements in the year 2020.


Flipkart named Krishna Raghavan as Chief People Officer from April 2020. Prior to this new role, Raghavan was working as Senior Vice President of Engineering, Fulfillment, and Services Group (FSG Tech) at Flipkart. This came within months of Smriti Krishna Singh, Senior Vice President, and Chief Human Resources officer, quitting after a nearly one-year stint. He is an innovative and inspiring leader with over 21 years of experience working in product companies across the US, and India.

Walmart Inc

Walmart Inc appointed Donna Morris from Adobe as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer. Donna has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in delivering innovative people solutions, developing and managing teams that operate in an agile way, and helping to build a high-performance culture that promotes diversity and inclusion. She led a number of workplace-friendly initiatives at Adobe, including expanding its family leave policy and simplifying standard HR processes.

Engineers India Ltd

Ashok Kumar Kalra appointed as Director- HR, (EIL) Engineers India Limited. He replaced VC Bhandari who retires as Director- Human Resources. Prior to this promotion, Ashok has been Executive Director- Human Resources at EIL. Kalra has over 3 decades of experience in engineering and HR. He is an engineering graduate from REC Rourkela. He had started his career as a site engineer in Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd. He had joined EIL in January 1992.

Larsen & Toubro

Dr. C. Jayakumar elevated as Head- Corporate Human Resources for Larsen & Toubro, effective from 2nd April 2020. He took over charge from Mr. Yogi Sriram pursuant to his superannuation on 1st April 2020. Dr. C. Jayakumar is home-grown talent, joined way back in 1988 with the Construction Division of L&T, risen through the ranks, and was Head of HR for various businesses and geographies within L&T Group including the Middle East.


NTPC elevated Dilip Kumar Patel as its Director- Human Resources. He took over charge from Saptarshi Roy after his superannuation on March 31. Earlier, Dilip has been the HR Head in various NTPC projects like NSPCL Bhilai, Sipat, and Tanda for around 12 years. He was also the Regional Head of HR in the Eastern Region-2 before he was appointed as the Director (HR). He has also received management and leadership training inputs from ESCP EAP (Paris, Berlin & Turin), Harvard Business School (USA), & XLRI Jamshedpur.


Dabur appointed Biplab Baksi as Executive Director- HR. Biplab has over 26 years of experience in Human Resources, started his career at Tata Motors in March 1993 as a management trainee and then moved on to Bausch & Lomb, BILT, and then Nestle. At Nestle, Biplab spent over 20 years in various corporate HR roles in India and in overseas locations including Australia, South Africa, and Switzerland. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from XLRI, Jamshedpur.


Philips appointed Vishpala Reddy as its new Head- Human Resources for the Indian subcontinent, replacing Armaan Seth who has joined Syngenta. Prior to this, she has worked with Uber as the Chief People Officer – India & S.Asia, and earlier, she was leading Human Resources for American Express in India across P&L, Servicing and Capability LOB’s comprising a diverse workforce of 12000+ employees. Previously, she had also worked with Aon Hewitt and Cognizant Technology Solutions.


Capgemini announced on 24th June the appointment of Anne Lebel as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and Group Executive Board Member, effective July 20, 2020. Anne brought to the Group over two decades of experience in leadership development and talent management on a global scale. Prior to joining Capgemini, Anne was Chief Human Resources and Corporate Culture Officer for Natixis and a member of the Senior Management Committee.


IBM appointed Nickle LaMoreaux as its new Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), after the announcement of Diane Gherson retirement as Head- HR. Nickle leads IBM’s people strategy, skills, employee experience and services, and global HR team supporting more than 350,000 IBMers across 170 countries. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Masters of Business Administration from Duke University.

Publicis Sapient

Publicis Sapient elevated Kameshwari Rao as Global Chief People Officer. Since 2001, Kameshwari Rao was leading Human Resources practices in a variety of roles at Publicis Sapient. Prior to her new role as CPO, she was working as Group Vice President, People Success, and after just two years in the position, she was elevated to Global Chief People Officer. She is passionate about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Corporate Social Responsibility.


Adidas named Amanda Rajkumar, an executive from French bank BNP Paribas, as its new Head of Human Resources after employee complaints about racism at the German sportswear company led to the departure of Karen Parkin in June. Rajkumar, a 48-year-old British national, was most recently head of human resources for the Americas for BNP Paribas. She previously worked for JP Morgan for almost a decade. She will take up her new job at Adidas in 2021.

Times Internet

Times Internet Ltd (TIL), the digital venture of The Times of India Group, appointed Smriti Ahuja as Chief People Officer, effective from 2nd November 2020. Prior to joining Times Internet, Smriti was working as Global Head Organization Effectiveness and Geo Leader Diversity & Inclusion at Cognizant. Smriti Ahuja completed her MBA in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur and BA Hons in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.


ABB announced that Carolina Granat is to succeed Sylvia Hill as Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Executive Committee, effective January 1, 2021. Granat currently serves as ABB’s Global Head of People Development, prior to which she was globally responsible for Human Resources at Sandvik’s Machining Solutions business area. She also served as Human Resources Manager for the Nordic region at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Cadila Pharmaceuticals

Sameer Nagarajan joined Cadila Pharmaceuticals as Global President- HR, effective 9th December 2020, most recently before joining Cadila, he was working with Dabur International Limited as Executive Vice President, Human Resources in Dubai. He completed an MBA in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur in 1988 and has a proven track record in Strategic Business Partnering and leading teams to deliver organizational outcomes.


Recently, Google has hired Fiona Cicconi, a top executive from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to oversee its personnel/HR policies amid ongoing tensions with many employees who are upset with the company’s policies. Cicconi will replace Eileen Naughton, who disclosed in February she would step down, just before Google told its workers to start working from home to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


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