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Can HR leaders excel as company chief executive?

M.S. Rao (Leadership guru and the founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India)

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 12 July 2013



This paper aims to present a blueprint for HR leaders to excel as chief executives.


The paper highlights some of the challenges that HR leaders encounter in their quest to succeed as a chief executive.


The paper emphasizes the need to acquire chief‐executive acumen by developing a particular mindset, toolset and skill set, among other things. It explains the importance of understanding other departments, including marketing, finance, operations, legal, IT and strategy.

Practical implications

The paper stresses the importance of entering into line organizations rather than staff organizations for quick career advancement for HR leaders.

Social implications

The paper illustrates the realities of leadership development, with examples of a wide range of successful leaders.


The paper closes the gap between theory and practice in the quest to become a good chief executive.



Rao, M.S. (2013), "Can HR leaders excel as company chief executive?", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 3-5.



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