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intu appoints new Chief People Officer

Tom Shearsmith
14 May 2020

Shopping centre operator Intu has appointed James Saunders to the newly created role of Chief People Officer as part of its five-year strategy.

Vodafone’s former Head of HR James Saunders has taken up the newly-created role to lead intu’s employee experience, and attract, inspire and retain talent within the business.

Saunders has previously held senior roles within HR and transformation teams at Nationwide Building Society.

Matthew Roberts, intu’s Chief Executive said: “Since becoming chief executive last year, I have focused on introducing new expertise and a fresh perspective to intu’s executive committee to allow us to deliver our strategy. The Chief People Officer role is a key appointment within the smaller and more focused executive team.

“Our people are fundamental to delivering intu’s strategy and putting the performance of intu’s rent-paying customers and our centres at the heart of the business. It is vital that we have a people strategy in place that will support this by inspiring, engaging and supporting everyone who works here as well as attracting new talent to intu.”

James Saunders, intu’s Chief People Officer, added: “I want intu to have the best talent in the industry and be a place where people do the best work of their careers. During my short time with intu I have met many passionate people, discovered a wealth of skills and expertise and learnt just how well equipped intu’s leaderships team is for the future of the business.”

In March 2020, Intu announced annual losses nearly doubled to £2billion in 2019, due to a big decrease in the value of its shopping centres.

Later in the month, the company reported that 29% of rents due have been paid for second quarter, as COVID-19 impacts businesses. The property giant has suggested it is prepared to take further action against tenants who don’t pay rent and service charges they currently owe.

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