THE DEBATE: CAN CHROS BECOME CEOS?
The Daily Guardian|January 21, 2022
CHROs who work well with CEOs have a lasting impact on the business. The role of contemporary CHROs continues to evolve as rapidly as the organisations they serve.
SONICA ARON

Manufacturing and Heavy Engineering Industries have looked at professionals from operations, Financial sectors have looked at Finance professionals, FMCG and FMCD industries have looked at Sales and Marketing incumbents, and so on.

There was no precedence of a CHRO taking the helm till December 2021, when not one but two examples came our way. Leena Nair, CHRO Unilever, was appointed as CEO of Chanel and Alka Mittal, HR director ONGC was appointed as Chairman & MD, ONGC.

And when they did, there was quite a furor and debate on the social media. From, are HR professionals really ready to take on the role of a CEO, do they understand customer, consumer, market, business imperatives, and what not?

This entire debate begs the question- when will we stop looking at 'labels' and start looking at the individual and what the individual brings to the table, in terms of skills, competencies, knowledge, experience, wisdom, and the ability to do the job at hand? Is stereotyping by profession yet another stereotype we have to live with? Yet another glass ceiling? Will those in so-called 'support functions' have to reconcile with the fact that their growth will stop at 'head of the function' of director of the function'?

Let us take a broad overview of why this stereotype came into being and how it is fast changing in the present day.

WHY THE STEREOTYPE?

Human resources is an 'arterial function for any organization. Human resources function manages one of the most critical assets an organization has- Its people.

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