SEATTLE: WE Communications has upped Kate Richmond to chief talent officer, a newly created executive board position.
Richmond is starting in the role on Tuesday and reporting to WE CEO and cofounder Melissa Waggener Zorkin. She previously reported to COO Jennifer Granston Foster as SVP of talent acquisition and development. In that position, Richmond oversaw recruiting, training, and employee experience programs. Her previous responsibilities have been folded into her new role, along with overseeing the firm’s HR function, which has a global team of 20 staffers.
WE created the chief talent officer position to ensure it has a connection between its business and talent strategies. Richmond is also leading cultural and change initiatives to help the agency and its employees evolve.
"I will be responsible for the entire talent function globally, rather than previously I was focused on recruiting, training, and development," she explained. "I do pick up more of the operational side of HR."
The main shift is that WE’s talent strategy will be more deeply integrated into its business, Richmond added.
Richmond has worked at the agency for more than 15 years, serving in account roles for 10 years before moving into her most recent SVP position in 2012. In that job, she established WE’s employee experience and focused on building equity in the firm’s brand, the firm said in a statement.