David Smith is an HR professional who was People Director of Asda for almost a decade. His career has seen him oversee personnel issues ranging from industrial disputes to mergers and take-overs, as well as the everyday challenges of human resources.
David was a key member of the team, with Alan Leighton and Archie Norman, that turned Asda from ailing supermarket in the second tier of the industry to second place behind Tesco. He was also present for the business' takeover by Wal-Mart. During his time at Asda David and his HR team introduced schemes including the All Colleague Bonus Scheme, grandparents' leave to help older staff maintain a work/life balance, IVF leave, and basic skills training. His work saw the retailer named as one of the top UK Places to Work for five years running in The Sunday Times, FT and Fortune magazine. David's HR team performed so well they shared thier best practice with their US parent company which has since adopted much of it as core policy.
Having started his career in the mining industry tackling the miners' strike of the mid-80s, David has also served as a Commissioner with the Equal Opportunities Commission, a Vice President of the CIPD (Charted Institute of Personnel and Development), and a board member of the Institute for Employment Studies. Today he is a writer and consultant on HR policy and strategy. His book Asda Magic reviews the seven guiding principles of building a high performance culture.
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