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Geoff McDonald is the former Global Vice President HR (Marketing, Communications and Sustainability) at Unilever.
During his 25 years with Unilever (a corporation with a turnover of US$75 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), McDonald’s experience has been truly global working across Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Australasia and Asia. He inspires and provokes organisations to put purpose and wellbeing at the centre of everything they do. His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organisational change, capability development, with particular reference to marketing, and business transformation with purpose at its core.
Earlier in his career he was responsible for graduate recruitment and development, talent, acquisitions and development across Unilever’s emerging markets. Under his leadership he developed Unilever’s global talent and leadership centre of expertise. More recently he has devoted his time, energy and effort to leading ground breaking work where the HR function has played a central role in transforming Unilever’s business model.
McDonald now consults with organisations, helping them define and embed purpose as a driver of growth and profitability. He also consults on how to address the stigma linked to anxiety in the workplace, with a particular emphasis on raising awareness and providing practical strategies as to how one might go about addressing them. He is an 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 regarding this subject, as well as writing of articles for Huffington Post, FT and HR related journals.
McDonald has spoken at Cambridge, Oxford, Bologna, Warwick Universities as well as corporate events across Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, Turkey and Eastern Europe. His experience at Unilever, under the pupilage of renowned CEO, Paul Polman, allows him to provide practical insights on how to go about truly embedding purpose in any organisation.