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Santander UK appoints new CHRO

Thomas will report to deputy CEO Tony Prestedge, and Amaya Cesaro, head of HR for Europe and Corporate and Investment Banking. She will also join the UK executive committee and Santander’s HR leadership team for Europe.

Santander UK has announced the appointment of Elaine Thomas as chief human resources officer, with effect from 1 February 2021.

Thomas will report to deputy CEO Tony Prestedge, and Amaya Cesaro, head of HR for Europe and Corporate and Investment Banking. She will also join the UK executive committee and Santander’s HR leadership team for Europe.

She will be responsible for developing and leading the bank’s people strategy, whilst delivering on the bank’s ambition to be one of the best companies to work for in the UK, with a diverse and inclusive workforce.

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Some of her responsibilities will include overseeing capability and culture, diversity and inclusion, reward and performance, people transformation, HR digitalisation, operations and business partnering, talent and learning, recruitment, succession, and employee relations.

Thomas said: “I am excited to be joining an organisation with such diverse and talented people and a strong international presence. I am looking forward to working with Tony, Amaya and the team to deliver the bank’s bold change agenda and make Santander an outstanding place to work.”

She has over 25 years of HR experience with her most recent role as global head of people solutions and service delivery at Refinitiv, which provides data and information systems to companies across global financial markets.

Prior to this, she was global head of human resources for the technology division of media company Thomson Reuters. She started her HR career at the Wallis fashion group and then went on to spend 13 years in a variety of HR roles at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch in the UK, US and Asia.

Prestedge said: “I am very pleased to welcome Elaine to the team. She brings a unique blend of experience across the retail, banking, technology, information, data and analytics industries, both in the UK and internationally.

“She will be a huge asset as we deliver our ambitious transformation programme and continue to build Santander’s position as a world-class employer, with an inclusive culture where all of our colleagues can feel empowered to succeed.”

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