Geoff McDonald

Geoff McDonald 2

Geoff’s background in teaching, HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is considerable. During his 25 years with Unilever (a global corporation with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global working across Africa Middle-East and Turkey, Australasia and Asia, Europe and the Americas. His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organization change, capability development, with particular reference to marketing and business transformation, with purpose at its core. Early in his career he was responsible for graduate recruitment and development, talent, acquisitions and development across Unilever’s emerging markets.

Under Geoff’s leadership, he developed Unilever’s global talent and leadership centre of expertise. More recently he has devoted his time, energy and effort, to leading groundbreaking work where the HR function has played a central role in transforming Unilever’s business model with purpose at its core. Today Geoff is a very much sort after speaker, inspiring and provoking Organizations to put purpose and wellbeing at the centre of everything they do. His experience in Unilever, under the pupilage of Paul Polman, allows him to provide very practical insights and speak on how to go about truly embedding PURPOSE and address the taboo associated with well-being (particularly mental health) within a large global multi-national Organization. With this experience, comes some real learnings on what may or may not work. Geoff co-led an innovative approach to addressing the issue of stigma associated with depression and anxiety within Unilever and as such led to a far more successful attempt to address wellbeing/mental health within the organization. Geoff is now advocating, campaigning and sharing those learning’s such that organisations can truly take a more holistic approach to addressing the wellbeing of their people.

In addition to the above, Geoff is actively attempting to establish a consortium of Companies who are serious about living their purpose and through this consortium learn from each other and inspire other Corporates to live their purpose to the benefit of the business and society as a whole. His vision is to see purposeful companies with purposeful individuals commonplace one day! He has spoken at Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick Universities as well as Corporate events across Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, Turkey and Eastern Europe. Geoff has recently joined Bridge Partnership as a Director of Bridge (where he is spending some of his time devoted to building a consortium of Purposeful Companies), in addition he sits on a number of Advisory Boards linked to Sustainability and the development/employment of young people from disadvantaged communities. Geoff is also a very active campaigner for breaking the stigma associated with Mental Health in the Corporate world and has participated in a number of BBC programmes and campaigns regards this subject, as well as writing of articles for Huffington Post, FT and HR related journals. He was recently appointed to the Board of Mental Health First Aid England. Geoff is married, with two daughters and loves the outdoors. He is a passionate cyclist and swimmer and has completed a number of ultra cycling events both on and off-road.