by Lee Hall
Corporate Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive
07 July 2016
We are always pleased to see one of our own recognized for leadership in our industry. Today's high-five goes out to Chris BarksdaleChris Barksdale, vice president, human resources, Scripps Networks Interactive, vice president of human resources, just named to the Multichannel News "40 Under 40" list. This annual compilation takes note of what the magazine believes are some of the people to watch in the cable business -- the up-and-comers, so to speak. 

Chris and his team of professionals support the tech side of our company, comprising more than 800 employees worldwide. He was part of the group that helped integrate Asian Food Channel when Scripps Networks acquired the network in 2013. Singapore-based AFC has grown to become a key driver of our growing international business. 

Chris was kind enough to take a moment to answer a few questions about his world: 

What’s the highlight of your HR career so far? 
Early in my career, I was selected to serve as an expat in Japan. During that assignment, I worked with a factory in Thailand to completely turn around a plunging margin by re-energizing management and staff through labor relations and a renewed approach to manufacturing. During my SNI career, the highlight was watching the strategy and talent that we crafted and curated in our digital group take shape to return a profitable 2015 and continuing into 2016.

 

I think some people have the idea that the HR department is there only to deal with employment problems. Can you set them straight? 
This may have been partially true 30 or 40 years ago, but our profession has really grown into a strategic partner for the business. It’s true that people are our currency, but we utilize that perspective to help leaders craft strategies and build organizations that move faster, work smarter and achieve targets in new and different ways.

 

What advice do you have for young people considering starting a career in HR? 
Stay curious and learn your business. You never know where an opportunity may lead, no matter how big or how small. Learn as much as you can about the business you support and don’t be afraid to ask questions and veer outside of “traditional HR”.

Congratulations, Chris. We're glad you're on the Scripps Networks team!
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