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The Growing Need for CHROs and CPOs on Boards – Are You Ready?

boards Aug 25, 2022

With 2 years of significant transformation, The Great Resignation, and continued C-Suite concern/focus on talent acquisition and retention, HR and the people function have been at the front line. Yet corporate boards still do not have many people with strong backgrounds in HR. 1

 In fact, while the number of board members with HR backgrounds has nearly doubled in the last 3 years, from 6 to 11% according to NACD – it is still only 11%.2

 In addition, when global CEOs were asked about their top internal obstacles, lack of quality talent ranked #2 – further underscoring the need for CHROs and CPOs to have a seat at the table in corporate governance.3

 In today’s vlog Susan Madonia and I speak with two impressive Executive Partners at ECC who will share with us their experiences on 20 boards.  Jill Smart and Wayne Sales (board experiences listed below) discuss the need for CHROs/CPOs on Boards and insider tips on how to get on boards.

 Make sure you listen to the end for advice to CHROs when there is mis-alignment between the CEO and the Board and their advice on how to handle this touchy situation.

 I would like to thank ECC for making this interview happen and providing the above research for this summary. Enjoy!


Ps. If you’d like to say hello to Susan Madonia at the BigHR Event on September 9, 2022, please don’t wait another minute to grab your ticket.


Experience of our speakers:

 Jill Smart

ECC Executive Partner

President, National Academy of Human Resources

Former CHRO, Accenture

Current Boards:

World Fuel Services

EPAM Systems



Cerity Partners 

 Former Boards

JB Training Solutions

Alexander Mann Solutions


Wayne Sales  

ECC Executive Partner

Operating Partner, Butterfly Equity

Former President, Chairman and CEO, SUPERVALU INC.

Former President and CEO, Canadian Tire Corp.

Former President and CEO, Fleet Farm

13 Boards including Mills Fleet Farm, Modern Market, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Canadian Tire Corp (Vice Chair), SUPERVALU/Albertsons, Tim Hortons, and Toys “R” Us


Susan Madonia         

ECC Partner & Executive Coach

Former SVP & Officer, Elkay Manufacturing

Former VP & Officer, Sara Lee Corporation  

Former VP of Human Resources and Officer at Ameritech


 HR Mastermind members


People strategy: The importance of a CPO/CHRO on boards. Unleash, February 2, 2022

The value of HR expertise on a board of directors. Fortune, October 8, 2021

3 C-Suite ChallengeÔ 2021: Leading in a Post-COVID-19 Recovery. The Conference Board, April 2022


 Transcript available for HR Mastermind here in members area:




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