20 Chief People Officers (Shaping Hybrid Work) To Follow in 2023

Published
July 5, 2023
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20 Chief People Officers (Shaping Hybrid Work) To Follow in 2023

TL;DR Article Summary

This blog post provides an in-depth look at the future of hybrid work through the insights of 20 leading HR professionals. Key themes include:

  • Embracing flexibility in work styles to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • Addressing challenges like burnout, loneliness, and work culture in remote settings.
  • The critical role of HR in developing effective hybrid work strategies.
  • Leaders advocating for a balanced approach, combining remote work benefits with in-office collaboration.
  • Innovating and adapting HR practices to support a diverse, evolving workforce in a hybrid work environment.

Hybrid work is here to stay. PwC found in its Pulse Survey that 77% of CHROs say their companies will offer hybrid work in some way as a means to attract and keep talent. 

Remote work has its perks, but it’s also creating issues like burnout and feelings of loneliness among employees and presenting more reasons why talent will pack up and leave. According to PwC, 30% of CHROs are concerned that remote work negatively impacts mental wellness, increases workplace inequity, and leads to toxic work culture. 

Many people leaders are prioritizing giving employees the flexibility to choose when and how they work but also recognizing that in-office time is invaluable. High-performing organizations and CEOs rely on the role of the Chief People Officer to drive effective return-to-office and hybrid work strategies.

Here are 22 people leaders shaping the future of work:

1. Nickle LaMoreaux, CHRO at IBM

“At IBM, we believe the future of work is hybrid - but it's about so much more than working from home a couple days a week and being in the office other times. With great collaboration partners like Slack and Brian Elliott, we're taking key steps to create a sustainable foundation for hybrid work. Flexibility is key, so we want leaders to set new expectations that liberate employees from the typical 9-to-5 workday. The hybrid model is also an opportunity to forego habits that no longer serve people and companies well. For example, we'll focus on meeting quality instead of quantity, using Slack to replace those that eat away at productivity.”

Nickle LaMoreaux is the Chief Human Resources Officer at IBM. She leads IBM’s people strategy, skills, employee experience and services, and global HR team supporting more than 250,000 IBMers across 170 countries. In her 20 years at IBM, she drove the company’s business growth through leadership development, talent acquisition, performance management, and skill building. 

2. Jennie Rogerson, Global Head of People at Canva

“We’re also looking to create a better world of work through our hybrid work model that focuses on the importance of balancing flexibility with connection. What that means is we encourage everyone to work in the way that works best for them and give guidance to work from their local office one to two times a season to connect with their teams. Because of hybrid work, companies have been able to tap into wider, more diverse talent pools — from totally remote workers to stay-at-home parents, to people based all over the world who can now work in a way that best works for them — and this will only increase as more organizations adjust to a hybrid and global way of working.”

Jennie Rogerson currently serves as the Global Head of People at Canva. She joined Canva in 2019 as the first person in Leadership Operations for the Co-founders: Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht. Together, they drove many fun and interesting initiatives, including Canva’s Future of Work post-COVID approach, Celebration of Diversity strategy, and the Co-founders’ pledge for the Canva Foundation.

3. Yael Malek, CPO at Bluevine

“Hybrid work is evolving as we learn. It started as a significant shift for many of us, but for people at the beginning of their careers — including the many Gen Zers working in fast-growing industries who graduated college between 2020 and this past June — it’s all they know. There have been discussions about what people early on in their careers lose out on with remote work, from those critical early career friendships to mentorship opportunities. It’s on us as people practitioners to give those early in their careers the same meaningful development opportunities we were afforded in our own careers, reinvented in the context of hybrid work.”

Yael Malek joined Bluevine as its new Chief People Officer in 2022 and was immediately tasked with leading their transition to hybrid work. She believes that hybrid work should not be at the expense of employees who are discovering work for the first time, and calls on companies to include these three core pillars: incorporating well-being into hybrid work benefits, creating structured activities to supplement organic connections, and being honest with candidates and employees.

4. Kelly Jones, SVP & CPO at Cisco

“Hybrid work is not just a philosophical shift, but the most significant shift in how we work in a generation and allows us to rethink not only where we work but how we make work better for all.”

Kelly Jones is the Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Cisco. She builds resilient, high-performing teams that accelerate business impact by focusing on conscious culture and emphasizing employee feedback. Under her guidance, Cisco has made progress in advancing its purpose to Power and Inclusive Future for All, and has been ranked #1 on Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for three years in a row. 

5. Q Hamirani, CPO at Paper

“The most interesting part has been the pendulum shift that keeps going back and forth between what is right. Is it remote? Is it hybrid? Is it all in? And I think for me, the big thing has really been a focus on: it depends on what is right for an organization. If you’re in retail or healthcare, remote work is probably not an option. From my own personal view, I think the future of work is flexibility for the employee, which leads to engagement and productivity, and that is accomplished by letting employees pick what they want.”

Q Hamirani is the Chief People Officer at Paper. Before Paper, he was at Airbnb as its first global people ops leader responsible for the strategic vision, build-out, and execution of Airbnb’s people & talent operations function from the ground up. Most notably, Hamirani brought to life Airbnb’s Digital Nomad program globally in 2020, which eventually became Airbnb’s formal Live & Work Anywhere program in 2022.

6. Kristina Johnson, CHRO at Amplitude

“Whether or not to mandate returning to offices has been hotly debated recently, with the root of the conversation coming back to whether employers or employees are currently in the ‘power seat.’ It’s about shifting that perspective from a power struggle to a mutually beneficial relationship. Whatever the future of work looks like at your organization, the key to implementing policies to meet that future will be establishing a strong foundation of trust with employees.”

Kristina Johnson is Amplitude's Chief Human Resources Officer, leading Amplitude’s People and Workplace function and bringing cross-industry experience from startups to multi-national and publicly traded businesses. Before that, she served as the Chief People Officer at Okta, where she helped scale its team from 500 to nearly 6,000 employees. With more than 20 years of experience, Johnson has led People teams at both startups and global enterprises.

7. Kathleen Hogan, CPO at Microsoft

“In today’s world of remote and hybrid work, it’s not sufficient to only encourage self-care. We need to innovate and leverage technology to help employees operationalize much-needed breaks into their daily routines.

Flexibility is here to stay, and study after study has shown that employees want the best of both worlds: flexible work and in-person connection. At Microsoft, we call this the hybrid paradox. As leaders, how can we bring structure to flexible work and help employees get the in-person connection they crave?”

Kathleen Hogan is the Chief People Officer at Microsoft. She’s focused on empowering the company’s 220,000+ global employees to achieve their mission and create a culture that attracts and inspires the world’s most passionate talent. She works with employees to transform the company culture into a more diverse, inclusive environment where everyone can learn and thrive.

8. Ross Seychell, CPO at Personio

“The main way I would describe our hybrid working model would be ‘office-led but remote-friendly.’ For us, a completely remote model was out of the question. That’s because collaboration, whether professional or small talk around the coffee machine, helps build a sense of community and pays off for our culture. And that, in turn, is foundational to our success. In my opinion, I believe that flexible, hybrid working models are the future of work. It is our responsibility, as HR professionals, to give our employees the space to work productively and creatively – and in line with their own working style.”

Ross Seychell is the Chief People Officer at Personio. As a business leader with 20 years of HR experience, he is passionate about how a company’s most important asset – their people and culture – enables them to unlock and achieve their mission. After building out workplace strategies at high-growth companies such as Wise and King, he joined Personio to help it become the leading HR platform and tech employer in Europe.

9. Tracie Sponenberg, CPO at The Granite Group

Hybrid work has helped us solve some serious space challenges as we grow, and also helped us to recruit and retain. But for us, it’s more than the word hybrid—we lean into flexibility, whether you have to be customer-facing every day or do your job from Hawaii. While many of our team members can’t be remote, we can be flexible with them.

Tracie Sponenberg is the Chief People Officer at The Granite Group. She focuses on aligning people strategy with business strategy at businesses experiencing growth. She is a keynote speaker on HR technology, leadership, branding, and is a top public speaking voice on LinkedIn about all things HR. With more than 20 years of experience in human resources, Sponenberg leverages her broad experiences across a wide range of industries to develop people strategies that help organizations grow. 

10. Vinita Clements, EVP & CHRO at Nationwide

“Our leadership team recognizes our employees’ desire for more flexibility — and that remote work can be successful for many roles, while knowing there is value in spending time in the office. Nationwide has enhanced our forums, tools, and resources to maximize the interaction and opportunities for all employees in our hybrid environment. Additionally, our regular pulse surveys help us understand what’s working well, and also where we need to focus more attention. We’re also investing in our managers, to ensure they are equipped to lead both locally and virtually, and in its learning, mentoring, and recognition programs.”

Vinita Clements is the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Nationwide. She joined the company in 2004 and has supported multiple business areas, focusing on strategic thinking, building trusted partnerships, and delivering results. She leverages almost 20 years of experience in an executive HR role to continue building strong people and culture strategies.

11. Edweena Stratton, CPO at Culture Amp 

“One of the big focuses last year, where I spent a ton of time, was thinking through our ways of working. I know this is a question that many of my peers and other organizations are trying to figure out. Some of the things that we really wanted to optimize for were connection, flexibility, productivity, and opportunity. I spent a lot of time embedding and working through what that looks like for us as an organization.”

Edweena Stratton was the Chief People Officer at Culture Amp. Before the move, she served as the VP of Employee Success at Salesforce, where she oversaw significant growth in scale and in growing her team of 5 to over 100. During her time there, the company was recognized as a 'Best Place to Work' for consecutive years. Stratton has significant experience in human resources, including working in HR roles for large companies like Starbucks, Oracle, and Krispy Kreme.

12. Jackie Dube, CPO at The Predictive Index

“Technology is always changing. The world is always changing. You may feel like you are being progressive in your hybrid approach this year, but you may be behind the 8-ball soon. In this current talent market, where talent is in demand and job hopping is easy, employers who offer their employees flexibility — to choose where and how they work — will win.”

Jackie Dube is the Chief People Officer at The Predictive Index and is responsible for building and growing high-performing teams. She’s passionate about setting up teams to be collaborative and innovative and fostering a corporate culture that ensures employee satisfaction. Before PI, Dube held several leadership roles, including VP of HR at Intygral Software, ShapeUp, and Vectrix. She also established and ran her own HR consulting firm.

Read Also: Humaning with Jackie Dube, CPO of The Predictive Index

13. Dan Spaulding, CPO at Zillow

“Our employees have the choice to work in and/or move to the place where they are most productive. Our goal is to create new working norms and policies that focus on finding sustainable ways to balance the always-on nature of remote work with our employees’ personal lives. We believe that maximizing flexibility to accommodate the moments our employees care most about gives them energy to show up well in all aspects of their lives — and in turn, that’s good for our business.”

Dan Spaulding is the Chief People Officer at Zillow. He has a proven leadership record in high growth, market leading companies across multiple industries. With an extensive background integrating businesses through M&A and a deep experience in international HR, Spaulding has managed HR teams across five continents, focused on engaging, developing, and retaining talent to grow businesses.

14. Anna Binder, Head of People Operations at Asana

“Before we R.T.O.’d — I love that that’s now in the Webster Dictionary — it was a topic of conversation because R.T.O. was theoretical, and being on the other side of the pandemic was theoretical. Most people came, returned, and are here. Some people tried it, decided, ‘It’s not for me,’ and they left. Now, the issue doesn’t really come up. Return to office isn’t a hypothetical scenario. It’s their reality. And they have so much else to talk about.”

Anna Binder serves as Asana’s Head of People Operations. During her time at Asana, both Inc. Magazine and Fortune named Asana as a Best Workplace for four years in a row, and the company has been named a Best Place to Work in 2021 by Glassdoor. Prior to joining Asana, Binder served as VP of People at MuleSoft Inc, VP of Client Services & Human Resources at ReadyForce, and VP of People at IronPort Systems.

15. Francisco Sorrentino, CPO at DigitalBridge

“When you have a mixed environment, a hybrid environment, it forces you to be a bit more disciplined around the routine that you have in the meeting. To make the most of these hybrid meetings, leaders actively built a culture that values and respects individual participation. Whether it’s in the room or virtual engagements, people are very respectful of what others have to say.”

Francisco Sorrentino is the Chief People Officer at DigitalBridge, where he manages organizational effectiveness, team engagement and performance, and employee value proposition. He joins Digitalbridge with a plethora of experience in human resources, including serving in roles like the Chief Human Resources Officer at SoftBank Group International, Director of Human Resources at Microsoft, and various leadership roles at IBM.

16. Betty Thompson, CPO at Booze Allen Hamilton

“Hybrid jobs embrace the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to careers. As employees navigate the complex ecosystem that is the workplace, they may find that their skills and interests change. What brought them joy two years ago may now be a source of frustration. To create a sustainable workplace that brings out the best in existing employees, fosters excellence, innovation, and creativity, and attracts the next generation of talent, be open to job structures that upend decades of tradition. The future of work is here.”

Betty Thompson is the Chief People Officer at Booz Allen Hamilton, overseeing all aspects of talent for the company’s 27,000 employees worldwide. She’s known for being on the forefront of diversity and inclusion and wellness and has been honored for her activism in designing a company-wide strategy to build a culture where women succeed. 

17. Sarah Willett, CPO at The Very Group

“With no quotas on time in the office or at home, our teammates make the working week work for them. Everyone chooses how and where they work to best serve our customers. Our digital playbook is helping us get the most out of hybrid working with guides, videos, podcasts, and supporting learning. However, hybrid working is about flexibility, and what’s right for today won’t necessarily be right for tomorrow — that’s why we must be open to change and continually learn.”

Sarah Willett is the Chief People Officer at The Very Group, which has won Best Place to Work and Best Retailer with revenue over £250m ($317m). Under her guidance, the organization's commitment to its people has really come through loud and clear. Willett believes that listening to employees, giving them a sense of purpose, and helping them grow are musts to engage teammates in the hybrid working retail environment.

18. Michele Bousquet, CPO at Strava

“Part of an inclusive culture is recognizing that everyone has different needs and allowing them to work in ways that suit their individual circumstances and preferences. Coming out of the pandemic, we are giving employees flexibility regarding how and where they want to work. Some people have a dedicated space in offices, some are working in a hybrid manner with no assigned desk, and still many others are working remotely. First and foremost, our approach is about flexibility.”

Michele Bousquet is the Chief People Officer at Strava. She leads the global people team, which includes people operations, DEI, talent, IT, workplace, and administration. Before Strava, Bousquet has more than 20 years of experience leading people and culture and has held various senior leadership roles at companies such as Brandless, GoPro, Forward, and Charles Schwab.

19. Michelle Labbe, CPO at Toptal

“People define a company. Being hybrid or fully remote doesn’t change that fundamental philosophy. If anything, distribution strengthens that reasoning because it challenges leaders to constantly innovate how they motivate, evaluate, and collaborate. A successful hybrid approach requires careful strategy and planning. But with the right leadership and resources, businesses will see a big return on the investment.”

Michelle Labbe is the Chief People Officer at Toptal. She specializes in leadership coaching, culture and engagement, remote work, and building rock-star teams to grow businesses. She coaches and manages high potential talent, executives, women in tech, and future leaders to reach their highest potential. Before Toptal, Labbe served as the CPO at ICR, SVP of Talent and Culture at Rent The Runway, and VP of People at Patch.com.

20. Sunita Solao, CPO at Upwork

“The world of work is changing faster than ever before, and the most innovative HR teams and business leaders are thinking beyond traditional hiring approaches and are embracing more flexible, hybrid teams made up of both full-time hires and independent talent. This talent mix, when done right, is enabling the best companies to stay nimble and continue to drive growth by gaining an edge through access to the right skills at the right time.”

Sunita Solao is the Chief People Officer at Upwork. She's passionate about shaping culture and driving organizational transformations across all company levels by building trusted partnerships to achieve business results. Before joining Upwork, she served as the VP of People at Convoy, where she helped prioritize flexibility to give employees a variety of options in where they work and how work can be done most effectively – at home, in office, or in remote locations including flexible schedules.

21. Nellie Thompson, CPO at Nintex

“We’ve adopted a remote-first workplace but recognize the importance of collaboration and in-person interaction. That’s why we’re offering both styles of work (remote and office) and maintaining our physical office space, making it available when our employees and teams want and need it. We recognize the lack of human interaction and connection has taken a toll, so we’re optimizing Nintex’s physical offices for creative work, collaboration, and celebration.”

Nellie Thompson is the Chief People Officer at Nintex. She brings her experience working in complex, geographically distributed environments and in private equity-backed companies to guide Nintex’s commitment to fostering a supportive workplace. Thompson has 15 years of global HR and talent management experience in the technology industry, including at Avanade and most recently at K2 Software, Inc.

22. Karina Bernacki, VP of People at VSCO

“The best change I’ve made at work is redesigning our performance management system. It was quite a feat, but I’m most proud of our hybrid operating model. It’s not necessarily revolutionary, but it has created significant positive impacts for us. To truly make remote and hybrid models work, you cannot just focus on virtual happy hours and other social constructs. Instead, you need to design your entire system to ensure expectations are explicit. Transparency is intentional.”

Karina Bernacki is the VP of People at VSCO, where she’s worked to address the mismatch between the individuals’ and the company’s expectations. She focuses on empowering employees and supporting their growth in the workplace and works on driving DEI strategies, integrating modern technologies, and boosting talent engagement. 

To learn more about key pillars HR leaders can lean on to thrive in 2023, read 4 Leadership Pillars for the 2023 Workplace. If you’re ready to start scheduling and booking desks and rooms, create your free Skedda account today.

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