Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the UK & Ireland CHRO Community

Hayley Tatum

Chief People & Corporate Affairs Officer


Hayley Tatum is the Senior Vice President and Chief People and Corporate Affairs Officer for Asda. She joined the Executive Board in 2011 and has responsibility for 150,000 UK colleagues. Before this, Haley spent 20 years working in multiple roles at Tesco, eventually becoming the UK and Republic of Ireland HR Director. Hayley was appointed Non-Executive Director to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in November 2017, chairing the Nominations Committee and Serious Case Panel. 

Hayley has a master’s degree in Human Resource Management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and a qualified NLP practitioner. Hayley has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate for service to the HR profession.

Learn more about leaders in the UK & Ireland CHRO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I have grown up in large-scale retail, first Tesco and now Asda, serving customers and training in all departments. This eventually gave me the experience to fall into HR and to start recruiting and training others. 

I became a Business Partner, opening numerous stores for Tesco, followed by a secondment to Head Office. I broadened my experience with talent planning, organisational development, and learning and development roles, before taking more commercial roles in programme and change management. 

I ended my 20+ years at Tesco as UK & ROI HR Director, before moving to Asda as CHRO – 11 years later and I am still enjoying the privilege of this role. In addition to my executive responsibilities, I had a stint as a Non-Executive Director for the DWP and have served as a Trustee for multiple charities. 

Overall, I remain competitive and curious, constantly learning to build my skills and knowledge to remain relevant and responsive. Not bad for someone who started as a temp on a till!

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CHRO going in the next 1-2 years?

With inflation rising to unseen levels and the colossal impacts this will bring for businesses, colleagues and customers, the CHRO role will continue to navigate change. Tried and tested solutions will not fit in this unforeseen context, so there will be a greater demand for experimentation to find alternative ways for businesses to provide the most relevant and reliable services and in turn, source new skills and increase productivity in their workforce. The agenda will be about technology, reskilling and creating holistic employment propositions – and all of these at pace!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CHRO?

While the CHRO role is a functional leadership position, it is fundamentally that of a business leader. 

My advice is to get as much operational experience to build commercial breadth as you can. Partnering with a CEO means you need to hold your own. Stay close to and listen to the best barometers of your business: your frontline colleagues and customers.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I co-designed my garden with a presenter from Gardeners’ World
  2. I grew up next door to the Cadbury chocolate factory. The smell was amazing!
  3. I never take my phone on holiday with me!

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

Gaining perspective and insight from fellow HR Leaders, as well as considering and learning new concepts and research posed by experts and academics, and building a diverse, professional network.


Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CHROs, for CHROs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CHRO community.