Executive Advisor

Areas of Expertise

David L. Murphy’s executive career spans four decades, with Chief HR Officer roles at Ford Motor Company and The McGraw-Hill Companies, working directly with the CEO at each. He excels at advising leaders undergoing transition and transformation, both in their careers and in their organizations.


David helps HR leaders partner with line managers to design initiatives to advance their business goals. He advises on strategy, engagement, accountability, and the business case for HR initiatives, in which a systems viewpoint, careful communication, and aligning support are essential.


With particular concern for how executives focus their time, he helps them to develop subordinates to shoulder more responsibility. This cultivates future leadership and relationships, frees them to focus on strategic challenges, and builds trust with colleagues. “I really enjoy helping people expand their perspectives and capabilities,” he notes.


David also brings a long career of advising executives who are undergoing personal transitions, such as a major promotion. “This is a tremendous opportunity, when leaders are most open to personal growth. I listen very carefully, help articulate their concerns, and help them find their own commitment to a successful pathway.”


David’s passion for his work includes evolving HR into a more business partnership. “We have opportunities for HR to play a more significant role in the business through leadership development, better matching of talent to strategic initiatives, increased integration of global talent resources, performance metrics, and effective succession planning. Dedicated emphasis on these processes has the potential to rejuvenate the contribution of HR and enhance the skills and relevance of HR professionals.”


Professional Accomplishments

David has spent four decades walking the talk to help HR support the agendas of CEOs. At Ford Motor, he advanced to become Chief HR Officer over 4,000 HR employees who served a 350,000-employee organization.


As part of the CEO’s efforts to transform Ford, he rejuvenated its leadership development center to focus on real-time business issues, implemented a rigorous program of individual performance assessment, and redesigned the succession planning process to better assess and develop management talent.


In a similar role at The McGraw-Hill Companies, David helped drive the business to become more digital, global, and growth-oriented, focusing on performance and talent development. The McGraw-Hill Companies employ 21,000 people in four business units.


Education and Background

David earned a B.A. (Hons) from Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland. He is a member of the Board for Continuous Learning Group, Inc.


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