2016 CHRO-CEO Roundtable

On September 22, Lonergan Partners conducted a breakfast seminar for sitting Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) from some of the largest public companies in Silicon Valley. The purpose of this gathering was to examine the nature of the relationship between the CEO and the CHRO – how they work together, how they build and disseminate strategy together, and best practices for building a relationship with the CEO.

We were joined by some exceptional people who led the discussion:

  • Don Joos, CEO at $350 million ShoreTel, a multinational supplier of networking systems for business
  • Tom Waechter, until recently the CEO at $1.9 billion JDSU, a global provider of systems and components for technology companies, and
  • Paul Burgess, CEO and Founder of Link-Up International, a leading organization development company; Paul was the moderator of this event

While details of the conversation itself will remain confidential, the topics touched on in 90 minutes ran a wide range. They included:

  • Succession Planning: how to advise boards and the CEO on reality-based succession plans, focusing on a toughminded assessment of the senior team
  • Development Planning: how to create development plans that advance the careers of senior managers, including the CEO him/herself
  • Strategy vs Management: how to create organizations capable of running effectively, allowing the CHRO to work on higher-level issues
  • Passive versus Proactive Leadership: how to use the CHRO position as a way of anticipating changes and challenges instead of only reacting
  • Creating Change: working with stubborn leaders (CEOs, Boards) in order to open them up for mentoring and improvement