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The Chief HR Officer: Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leaders

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The  Chief HR Officer offers the most current thinking on the evolving role of the chief human resource officer (CHRO). An essential resource for experienced and aspiring CHROs, the book shows leaders how to best prepare for and perform this critical role.

This book shows how, in today’s extremely competitive work environment, the job of CHRO has expanded to encompass many important roles. Among other things, HR leaders must adapt to and address the demands of an increasingly diverse and demanding workforce, globalization, stricter regulatory requirements, increased accountability to the CEO and board of directors, and the complexity of leading the HR function with often limited resources.

This vital guide is filled with rare insights and practical guidance from some of the most successful CHROs who have been in the trenches as well as top academics researching the field.

Sponsored by the National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR), the book covers a wealth of topics including how to develop a perspective and set of skills to effectively lead and perform in the role and how to approach strategy, management, leadership, ethics, and talent. In addition the authors include information on forming and implementing activities that will further the firm’s strategy, advice for coaching and counseling the CEO, and much more.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1. The Evolving Chief Human Resource Officer Role (by Patrick M. Wright, Paul McKinnon, Richard L. Antoine, Elizabeth ‘‘Libby” Sartain, John W. Boudreau, and David A. Pace)


Chapter 2. Perform! Don’t Run! (by J. Randall MacDonald)

Chapter 3. The Art and Science of the CHRO Role (by Eva Sage-Gavin)

Chapter 4. ETC (by Richard L. Antoine)

Chapter 5. Roles and Challenges of the CHRO: Results of the Cornell/CAHRS CHRO Survey (by Patrick M. Wright and Mark Stewart)


Chapter 6. Leadership and Employee Engagement: A Positive Synergy at Caterpillar (by Sid Banwart)

Chapter 7. Four Steps to World-Class Talent Management (by L. Kevin Cox)

Chapter 8. Retooling HR and Avoiding the Service Trap: How Proven Business Models Offer Untapped Potential for Strategic Talent Management Decisions (by John W. Boudreau)

Chapter 9. The CHRO as Cultural Champion (by Michael L. Davis)

Chapter 10. When Crisis Calls (by Laurie Siegel)

Chapter 11. Doing HR’s Business with the Government (by Ian Ziskin)


Chapter 12. Who Do You Really Work For? Serving Multiple and Often Conflicting Constituencies as CHRO (by David A. Pace)

Chapter 13. Partnering with the CEO (by Elease E. Wright)

Chapter 14. Forging Effective Relationships with Your Boss and Colleagues (by Pamela O. Kimmet)

Chapter 15. What Do You Stand For? (by Elizabeth ‘‘Libby” Sartain)

Chapter 16. Great Leader or Just a CEO? Insights on CEOs from the Perspective of CHROs (by Patrick M. Wright and L. Kevin Cox)


Chapter 17. Working with the Board of Directors (by Bill Rosner)

Chapter 18. CHROs and Boards: A Missing Link (by Edward E. Lawler III)

Chapter 19. The Role of the CHRO in Managing Executive Compensation (by Charles G. Tharp)

Chapter 20. How to Be a High-Performing CHRO in the Executive Compensation Arena (by Ursula O. Fairbairn)


Chapter 21. Making a Difference in the First 100 Days (by Ken Carrig)

Chapter 22. Delivering Results with a Global HR Team (by Hugh Mitchell)

Chapter 23. Experiences as a New CHRO in a New Industry (by Mirian M. Graddick-Weir)

Chapter 24. Designing an Integrated HR Function: What the CHRO Needs to Know (by Amy Kates, John W. Boudreau, and Jay Galbraith)

Chapter 25. HR for Impact (by Sandy Ogg) 


Chapter 26. Preparing CHROs to Exceed CEO Expectations (by Dave Ulrich and Ellie Filler)

Chapter 27. Delivering Global Talent in a High-Velocity World: What CEOs Look For in a CHRO (by James Bagley)

Chapter 28. What Does Today’s CHRO Look Like? Demographic Characteristics of CHROs at the World’s Largest Companies (by Patrick M. Wright and Mark Stewart)

Chapter 29. Bringing It All Together: The Four Knows of the CHRO (by Patrick M. Wright)

About the Editors:

Patrick M. Wright is the William J. Conaty GE Professor of Strategic Human Resources in the School of ILR at Cornell University. He teaches and conducts research in the area of strategic HR management, with a particular focus on how HR practices, the HR function, and how HR leaders can affect firm performance. He sits on seven journal editorial boards and has served on the board of directors for Human Resource Planning Society, World at Work, and the Society for Human Resource Foundation. 

John W. Boudreau, professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, is recognized for breakthrough research on human capital, talent, and sustainable competitive advantage. 

David A. Pace is currently executive vice president and chief resource officer for OSI Restaurant Partners, Inc. where he leads teams responsible for human resource management as well as real estate and development. Before, Pace had been a management consultant, entrepreneur, and not-for-profit leader. He was previously CHRO for Starbucks Coffee Company and YUM Brands International, having lived overseas for six years in both London and Nicosia, Cyprus. He is an adjunct faculty member in Southern Methodist University’s Cox Graduate School of Business. 

Elizabeth ‘‘Libby’’ Sartain is now an active business advisor and board member. As CHRO of both Yahoo! Inc. and Southwest Airlines, she led significant business transformation initiatives as a member of executive leadership teams and guided global HR efforts focusing on attracting, retaining, and developing employees. Her focus has been growth companies, where she developed employment brand strategies that helped increase the workforce exponentially while establishing company reputation as a leading employer of choice. She serves on the boards of directors of Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Manpower and advises several start-ups and mature organizations on HR, employer branding, and talent management. Sartain served as chairman of the board of the Society for Human Resource Management in 2001.

Paul McKinnon is head of human resources at Citi Corporate Center, which he joined in 2008 with twenty-five years of experience in HR management, consulting, and education. He is responsible for all HR for Citigroup and all talent management programs. Prior to this assignment, he was head of talent management for Citigroup.

Richard L. Antoine is president of the National Academy of Human Resources and a consultant on talent management and CEO/senior management succession planning working with CEOs and CHROs. Prior to this he held a number of line positions at Procter & Gamble during a thirty-nine-year career, the last eleven of them as the global HR officer reporting to the CEO.


“The strategic portfolio of issues addressed and the sage wisdom and perspectives shared make this book a powerful transformation tool.” -- Jodee Koziak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Target Corporation

“An up-to-the-minute guide as to what is happening to the field of human resources through the eyes of those in charge of it.” -- Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management and Director, Center for Human Resources, Wharton School

“This is a definitive guide for human resources leaders who are at the frontlines of competitiveness for their organizations.” -- David A. Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott International

“This book is a must-read for all HR professionals to understand the evolution of how far we’ve come as a function and how much more we have to contribute to the success of the enterprise.” -- William J. Conaty, former Senior Vice President, Human Resources, General Electric Corporation

“This book is a treasure-trove of insights that will elevate the practice of human resource management to a whole new level in the twenty-first century.” -- Lee D. Dyer, Professor and Chair, Department of Human Resource Studies, Cornell University

“As a CEO who understands how important managing human capital is to delivering business results, The Chief HR Officer is an invaluable resource.” -- Russ Fradin, CEO, Hewitt Associates

“This is a must-read for state-of-the-art in human resource management.” -- Scott A. Snell, E. Thayer Bigelow Professor of Business Administration, Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia

Additional Info

Name The Chief HR Officer: Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leaders
SKU 61.15014
Year published 2011
Page count 310
Publisher SHRM/Jossey-Bass
ISBN 9780470905340
Author Patrick M. Wright^John W. Boudreau^David A. Pace^Elizabeth “Libby” Sartain^Paul McKinnon^Richard L. Antoine, Editors
Format Hardback