“When the financial crisis rocked the business world in 2007–2009, boardrooms turned to corporate finance chiefs. A good CFO could save a company; a bad one might bury it. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a different challenge – and highlights the role of another corporate function, often unfairly dismissed as soft. Never before have more firms needed a hard-headed HR boss.
The duties of chief people officers, as human-resources heads are sometimes called, look critical right now. They must keep employees healthy; maintain their morale; oversee a vast remote- working experiment; and, as firms retrench, consider whether, when and how to lay workers off. Their in-trays are bulging.”
(The Economist, March 24th, 2020)