Here are the major promotions and job moves in the world of HR.

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HR practitioner appointments

MDEC appoints Nazral Safril Mohammad Sapari as its new Director of Human Capital

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) announced the appointment of Nazral Safril Mohammad Sapari as its new Director of Human Capital. Bringing over 25 years' experience in HR, Nazral will be managing the planning and execution of the integrated HR, administration, and operations function for MDEC.

The appointment follows MDEC’s ‘Reinvent’ – a strategic change agenda that was recently launched to inculcate a high-performing and high-impact organisation. MDEC also introduced the Input, Output, Outcome & Impact (IOOI) Valuation Metrics in its planning process to guide future resource allocation and utilisation, and effectively measure the organisation’s socio-economic contribution to society.

In supporting this change, Nazral will drive a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence, while strengthening the business alignment of the HR functions within the organisation. He will also be contributing to the business strategy, developing workforce plans and programmes that are aligned with MDEC's overall national strategic objectives.

Nazral was most recently the General Manager of the Human Resources & Administration at Touch‘n Go, where he was instrumental in successfully implementing the transformation agenda, aligning the employee’s experience initiatives to the company’s business direction pivoting from micropayment to digital technology solutions. As a result, TNG was recognised as the Employer of Choice by the Malaysian Institute of Human Resources in 2019.

He comes with a wealth of experience and proven track record of successfully integrating strategies for operations and coordination of HR operations with the rest of the divisions. This includes his vast experience in the financial sector as the regional head, HR business partner for the Group Asset Management & Investments; director of group HR in CIMB Investment Bank (from 2012-2016), Alinma Bank Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (from 2009 – 2012), as well as AmBank (M) (from 2008 – 2009).

Nazral will be working closely with the CEO of MDEC, Pn Surina Shukri, and MDEC’s Management Operating Council, comprising of the leads of the four key strategic Digital Business, Digital Investments, Digital Talent and Digital MDEC; to drive highimpact digital outreach for the society and economy.

HR solutions provider appointments

Li Choo Kwek-Perroy is now the MD for Life Strategic Business Unit at AXA Insurance Singapore

AXA Insurance Singapore has appointed Li Choo Kwek-Perroy as Managing Director, Life, effective 11 January 2021. 

In this role, she will lead the company’s Life strategic business unit including product, claims and underwriting, as well as the Life distribution channels, reporting to Jean Drouffe, Chief Executive Officer. She succeeds Sean Goh who has decided to pursue other opportunities outside the organisation.

Kwek-Perroy brings with her over two decades of experience in progressive leadership roles across various core disciplines for both life and general insurance. Trained as an actuary, she has undertaken roles spanning strategy, product, marketing, digital and distribution transformation, risk management and finance throughout her career.

She has spent a large part of her career with AXA, having originally joined the AXA Group in 2000. Prior to rejoining AXA Singapore, she was Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Customer Officer with another insurer in Singapore.

Lewis Garrad appointed as Mercer's Career Business Leader for Singapore

Effective 1 Jan 2021, Lewis Garrad has been appointed Mercer’s Career Business Leader, Singapore.

In his new role, he leads a team of expert HR consultants to drive the growth and expansion of Mercer’s Career business in Singapore by helping clients solve their most critical people challenges. He focuses on helping clients plan future workforce models, drive digital transformation and redesign jobs, alongside identifying skills and capabilities for current and future needs.

Garrad's other key priorities include helping organisations drive healthy and productive cultures through engaging employee experiences and developing forward-thinking and competitive pay and incentive practices.

Prior to his new role, he was Mercer's Employee Experience Leader, International and Career Solutions Leader for Singapore. Passionate about helping business leaders and HR executives design people practices that improve organisational performance, Garrad is trained in organisational psychology and experienced in the development of data-driven talent, engagement and employee performance programs.

upGrad names ex-Disney chief Zubin Gandevia as CEO, Asia-Pacific

upGrad, has appointed Zubin Gandevia as CEO for Asia Pacific, effective January 2021, signaling its commitment to growing its presence across the region.

Based out of Hong Kong, and seeking to address the employment and upskilling challenges faced by many economies in the region, Gandevia will lead upGrad’s expansion plans across APAC.

Gandevia most recently served as President, Asia Pacific and Middle East, at FOX Networks Group Asia (part of the Walt Disney Co.). In this role, he led FOX to become Asia’s number one Pay TV network, bringing leading media brands to consumers in over 30 countries. Prior to this, he was Chief Operating Officer Asia Pacific & Middle East at FOX, orchestrating its key merger with Star, and the acquisition of ESPN Star Sports. 

On welcoming Gandevia to his new role, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-Founder & Chairman, upGrad, said: "Zubin brings an enviable track record of starting and scaling successful businesses and I’m excited for the potential we can unlock with his leadership. Having built a proven and trusted edtech brand in India, we are now poised for growth with plans to scale our offering to support more people in building their future careers, and Zubin is very well-placed to help us achieve this. He brings a lifetime of commercial wisdom and is a proven change-maker with a passion for lifelong learning, which aligns squarely with upGrad’s values. His background in forging strategic partnerships and his keen interest in digital content delivery will be key accelerants for our expansion in Asia. I look forward to working with him to realise our vision of reaching a billion people through upGrad.”

Photos / provided
From left to right: Li Choo Kwek-Perroy, Lewis Garrad, Nazral Safril Mohammad Sapari, Zubin Gandevia