Lloyds HR boss to become civil service's new chief people officer

Rupert McNeil appointed to new role taking charge of Whitehall's 3,000-strong HR profession

By matt.foster

13 Oct 2015

The civil service has appointed the human resources director of Lloyds Banking Group to serve in the newly-created role of chief people officer.

Rupert McNeil was on Tuesday unveiled as the new Whitehall-wide HR chief, and is set to take up post in January next year.

According to the Cabinet Office, McNeil – who has served as group HR director at Lloyds since 2012 – will "continue to build the HR function​" across the civil service as part of a wider drive to centralise many of the processes common across government

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The new chief people officer will take charge of the civil service's 3,000-strong HR profession, and will also bear responsibility for civil service training, development, and diversity matters. 

McNeil will report to civil service chief executive John Manzoni, who said he was "delighted" to welcome Rupert to Whitehall.

"He faced a field of strong candidates from across the public and private sectors, but his record of driving transformational change in large and complex organisations made him the ideal candidate to help lead the civil service at this crucial time," Manzoni added.

As well as his time at Lloyds, McNeil's CV includes stints at consultancy Deloitte, Barclays bank, and the insurer Aviva.

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said: "Rupert has a hugely important job, to make government the best it can possibly be by attracting and retaining the most talented people from across the UK."

Ahead of McNeil's appointment, Tim Edwards of the Hay Group management consultancy said the new CPO would face "a daunting challenge and a long list of priorities".

"This is the biggest HR job in the land – the CPO will oversee a staggering 400,000 civil servants – and it is about to become one of the toughest," Edwards wrote in a piece for CSW.

"The successful candidate will be charged with modernising the civil service in an environment of unprecedented cost reductions – no mean feat for an organisation that has already cut around 90,000 jobs since 2010."

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