May 25, 2021 – Chicago-based Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive Search has assisted in the placement of Mecole “Cole” Brown as the new chief people officer of American Airlines. The mandate was led by Jason Hanold, CEO and managing partner, and Keri Gavin, partner and global D&I practice sector leader. She will report to Elise Eberwein, executive vice president of people and global engagement. “Cole is an extraordinary leader and the right person to lead American’s People function as we recover from a global pandemic and welcome our customers back to American Airlines,” Ms. Eberwein said. “Her experience with large, multi-national service businesses will translate well into the airline industry, and the breadth and depth of her human resources experience will support our coworkers in the best way possible. Above all, Cole has a servant leader’s mindset that complements American’s mission to care for people on life’s journey.”
Ms. Brown most recently served as vice president of human resources for Amazon’s devices and services, corporate and business development, and advertising and entertainment business segments. Prior to this role, she was Amazon’s vice president of human resources for North America customer fulfillment. In these roles, she served as each business’s chief human resources officer with responsibility for all aspects of human resources, including recruiting, organizational design, training and development, diversity and inclusion, and employee relations. Previously, Ms. Brown served as SVP and CHRO for Conifer Health Solutions. Her experience also includes serving as SVP of HR for Walmart U.S. stores operations, which is that company’s largest business segment. Before that, she was chief diversity officer for Walmart. Prior to joining Walmart in its legal department, Ms. Brown practiced as an attorney specializing in the area of employment law and administrative regulations with Bashen Consulting, Wickliff & Hall and Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson.
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In her new role with American Airlines, Ms. Brown will lead all aspects of the airline’s people organization, including the teams supporting global talent and recruitment, benefits and compensation, people operations and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Pre-pandemic, the American Airlines Group, together with its regional partner, American Eagle, offered nearly 6,700 flights daily to 360 destinations in 50 countries. The company’s mainline fleet of 864 planes remains the largest in the world. In addition to its Texas headquarters, the airline also operates 10 hubs around the U.S. and currently employs about 120,000 team members around the globe, where 90 percent are represented by unions. The company had $45.77 billion in revenue in 2019.
American Airlines also recently turned to Hanold Associates to help recruit Maria-Clara Vasconcellos as head of executive recruiting. “Maria Clara is a vibrant and passionate talent acquisition leader who possesses a fantastic ability to attract best-in-class talent,” said partner Sonia Nagra, who led the search along with fellow partner Ashley Schiele. “She will be instrumental in creating an exceptional candidate experience for candidates by leading the first ever in-house executive recruiting function for American Airlines. Maria will have an enduring impact as a trusted advisor to the leadership team.”
Hanold Associates is a boutique executive search firm focused on HR and diversity and inclusion officers. Its client list is diverse across industries, geographies and business scenarios, and culture is at the core of everything the firm does. Its clients include the National Football League, Zoom, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, The New York Times, Tom Brady’s TB12, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Big Ten Conference, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, SC Johnson, eBay, Moderna, Hillrom, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, ClubCorp, Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Ford Motor Co., among others.
Hanold Associates Assists The New York Times Co. in CHRO Search
Hanold Associates has assisted The New York Times Co. in the recruitment of Jacqueline M. Welch as executive vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO). She will report directly to president and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien and sit on the company’s executive committee as well as lead its talent and inclusion department.
“This search, from launch to offer decision, took about six weeks,” said Jason Hanold, CEO and managing director of the search firm. “Jacqui is a unique spirit. She lifts people up, brings them together, is a phenomenal relationship builder, and truly makes all around her better. She is also an experienced and dynamic executive with a track record of success leading human resources work and I’m so pleased she is coming to The Times to assume this critical leadership position,” said Ms. Levien. “Our ability to attract, develop and retain world-class talent, and to create the conditions for our people to do their best work, is paramount to the continued success of our mission and business. Jacqui will be an essential partner to me and the senior leadership team as we continue to transform the company and our culture with operational excellence and diversity, equity and inclusion at the heart of all we do.”
Mr. Hanold founded the firm in 2010. Previously, he served as a managing director with Russell Reynolds Associates, where he led the firm’s global human resources officer practice and was a member of the board of directors and CEO practices. Before that he held talent and recruiting positions with Whirlpool, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, and State Farm.
Ms. Gavin focuses on all functional areas of HR and diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining Hanold Associates, she was director of host relations and consulting for Ragan Communications. Before Ragan, Ms. Gavin was a television anchor and reporter in Des Moines, IA.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media