KPMG Australia has appointed Deborah Yates as its National Managing Partner for People, Performance & Culture with a mandate to accelerate plans for its workforce of the future. She succeeds Susan Ferrier, who has been promoted to Global Head of People for KPMG International.
Deborah Yates joins from FTSE top 100 company, Reckitt Benckiser, where most recently she was Global Head of Human Resources, based in London. Deborah has more than 20 years human resources experience, including more than a decade in international leadership roles spanning Europe, North America and Australia. Australian born and educated, she is returning home to Sydney, ahead of commencing with KPMG Australia in February.
“Deborah is an extremely high calibre, internationally experienced addition to our team. She will drive KPMG’s next-generation people strategy focused on embracing the opportunities and challenges of digital disruption,” said Gary Wingrove, CEO of KPMG Australia.
“As a firm, we are re-thinking how to be productive through change, how to develop integrated people and AI workforces, and how to instil the right leadership approaches to steer our teams for the future. Deborah will be making sense of the challenges and opportunities, in order to create the most relevant and optimal workforce to fulfil our strategy – and one that is prepared for the future.”
The immense impact of technology on work has seen people and robots collaborate, manual tasks become automated, people freed to focus on innovation, and the development of a global, highly agile talent marketplace. This presents vast challenges and opportunities for organisations around their workforces, including roles and responsibilities, adaptability, employee engagement and connection.
Deborah Yates believes organisations that fail to shift their people strategy to suit this environment risk irrelevance: “Traditional hierarchies are being upturned in workplaces, people and machines can work together, unheard of jobs will arise, continual up-skilling is essential, competition for talent is fierce, and workforces are increasingly cross-generational. Where and how people work is now completely mobile.”
“I strongly believe the workforce of the future requires agility, not just capability. The most sought after talent will be people who don’t just cope with change, but thrive on ambiguity. This is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I can’t wait to get started,” she said
Mr Wingrove congratulated Susan Ferrier on her appointment: “It’s terrific to see top Australian talent being recognised and rewarded on a global stage. Susan’s appointment is well-deserved recognition of her experience, expertise and influence across the KPMG network. She has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for organisational culture and performance.”
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