Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CHRO Community

Lisa Robbins

VP, Partner Resources EMEA

Starbucks EMEA

Lisa Robbins joined Starbucks in 2013 and now holds the role of vp PRO EMEA. She sits on the global partner resources leadership team and is responsible for the people agenda for Europe, Middle East and Africa regions across 42 markets, as well as the EMEA regional support centre.

Lisa is passionate about developing people and helping them be the best they can be, both at work and personally.  She has a master’s degree in Strategic Human Resource Management, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and a qualified NLP practitioner.

Learn more about the UK & Ireland CHRO community here.

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

I spent the first ten years of my career working in retail stores both in HR and operational management roles. Working in retail was the greatest learning, and I found my passion for people – both customers and employees. I'm always willing to take a risk, and I try to say yes to new challenges. I then moved into support centre roles – expanding my experience beyond HR – working in finance, retail operations and customer service roles.

A move to British Gas led me to lead the Engineering Academies where I was accountable for the training and qualifications of the thousands of British Gas engineers. I continued to develop my passion for learning through apprenticeships, and I continue to be an advocate for apprenticeships to this day.

I joined Starbucks in July 2013 as the director of partner resources for Starbucks UK, with direct responsibility for the London support centre and company owned store portfolio. I played an integral role in developing and supporting the growing business partnerships in franchising, licensing, business alliances and channel development. A couple of years in, I moved into regional roles and had responsibility for developing the partner opportunity and skills agenda, the centre of excellence teams (such as recruitment and payroll) and leading the HR business transformation agenda beyond the UK.

In early 2021, I was then promoted to vp PRO EMEA and now sit on the global partner resources leadership team. I am responsible for the people agenda for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region across 42 markets, as well as the EMEA regional support centre.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Listening and being curious are superpowers and will nearly always get you to a better place.

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

My role will continue to be a coach to the leadership team, developing successors and leaders for future key roles. As well as the traditional HR agenda, I’ll be focusing on what it’ll take to really elevate the partner experience in ways we have never done before – consistently across 42 markets will be a challenge!

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

Firstly, consider yourself as a business leader with accountability for the people agenda rather than the other way around. I believe that will help the decisions you make, the advice you give, and you will see things through a wider lens. 

Secondly, build a trusted network and find a trusted advisor/friend. It can be a lonely role at times and knowing you have people you can discuss things with will help.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. My first job was working in a hair salon!
  2. I love to make celebration cakes.
  3. My husband and I have two teenagers who keep us constantly juggling and having fun!

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

The Evanta community will connect you with people in similar jobs to you which is an invaluable resource. They also provide relevant, community-led discussions which help to build the strength of the community and the profession.

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.