August 5, 2016 – Executive search firm Boyden has recruited Heather Laychak as chief human resources officer (CHRO) of The Aerospace Corporation. Tim McNamara, managing partner of Boyden’s Washington, D.C. office and a leader in the firm’s aerospace, defense & intelligence and global transportation sectors, led the search.
“One of Aerospace’s five core values is commitment to our people,” said Dr. Wayne Goodman, senior vice president of the operations and support group. “Heather will help emphasize this value and lead key strategic talent initiatives in the corporation.”
Ms. Laychak comes to Aerospace from Mattel, where she was the senior director of talent management. Prior to that, she held multiple positions at Northrop Grumman, including director of human resources for its space systems division, director of organizational effectiveness for the aerospace systems sector, and corporate director of talent acquisition. Prior to Northrop Grumman, she served as vice president of human resources and dean for the School of Health Studies at Robert Morris University.
Aerospace’s human resources department, which Ms. Laychak will now lead, oversees compensation and benefits, employee relations, employee services, talent acquisition, organizational effectiveness, labor relations, and HR information systems.
The Aerospace Corporation is a California non-profit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 3,600 employees. It provides guidance and advice to military, civil and commercial customers to ensure the success of complex, technology-based programs.
“CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a company, and they are expected to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk taking and evolving expectations from top stakeholders,” said Neil Shastri, leader for global insights & innovation at Aon Hewitt. “Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries.”
“In a business world where transformation is the name of the game, the CHRO is taking on the mantle of arch strategist, deploying sophisticated talent management principles and practice to drive business success,” said Mark Oppenheimer, chief commercial & innovation officer at leadership advisory and executive search firm Marlin Hawk. “Historically, the CHRO has often been accused of lacking strategic input at the board level and has struggled to have a seat at the top table in the inner circle. Now, rather than being absorbed into the finance function as some have suggested, the role has stood its ground and flourished.”
Hunt Scanlon has reported on several executive search firms placing CHROs in recent months. Here’s a sampling of just a few:
- Lochlin Partners placed Ania Mikson as CHRO for Philadelphia-based Franklin Square Capital Partners. She joined Franklin Square after serving in the top human resources role at Delaware Investments since 2008.
- Hanold Associates recruited Gaurav Sehgal as CHRO at Denver-based Fortis Private Bank. Mr. Sehgal was previously with Mariano’s (Roundy’s Supermarkets) where he was vice president of human resources and responsible for all HR processes in the Chicago market. The firm also recruited Barbara Bolender as CHRO for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). Founder Jason Hanold led the search.
- accelHRate placed Susan Balaguer as senior vice president and CHRO of Engility Holdings, Inc. Kimberly Shanahan, accelHRate founding president and CEO, led the search along with vice president Kelly McPherson.
- Allegis Partners placed Tami Polmanteer as CHRO for Aleris Corporation. Mike Bergen, managing partner & global practice leader (human resources), Matt Healey, managing director, and senior associate Laura Pyne, led the search for Allegis.
- The J. Gregory Coleman Group LLC recruited Tom Taborek to lead HR for NLMK Group in the U.S. The search was conducted by Greg Coleman, managing principal, along with principal MaryAnne Denniston.
- DHR International placed Tom Lynch as CHRO of PPL Corporation. The search was conducted by Jerry McGrath,managing partner of the firm’s global human resources practice, along with Joe Huddle, its industrial practice managing partner, and senior associate Christine Pasieka.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media