Abdullah Verachia joins the 2023 CHRO Awards judging panel

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World-renowned future strategist and disruptor Abdullah Verachia is the latest addition to the 2023 CHRO Awards judging panel. The thought leader says CHROs need to take care of themselves as much as they take care of others.


The thought leader says CHROs need to take care of themselves as much as they take care of others.
World-renowned future strategist and disruptor Abdullah Verachia is the latest addition to the 2023 CHRO Awards judging panel.

Abdullah is the founder and CEO of The Strategist, a strategy and advisory firm that helps businesses to formulate competitive future strategies. Some of his notable achievements include being selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa, being awarded the Harvard Business School Dean’s Scholarship for leadership and innovation, being the recipient of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 GIBS Excellence in Teaching Award for executive education and academic programmes, as voted by staff and students, and being an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

CHRO South Africa spoke to Abdullah about joining the judges’ panel.

Q: What appealed to you about becoming a CHRO South Africa Awards judge?

A: Organisations are not balance sheets, buildings or coffee shops. They are made up of people who enable organisations to do what they do. At the heart of this is the fundamental role of the CHRO. I was keen to be part of the panel as I fully believe in the critical role of the CHRO now and into the future. 

Q: How do you see the CHRO role evolving in the next few years?

A: Skills that can’t be digitised or automated will become much more valuable. The future of our organisations rests on how we can navigate the complex world we live in. The role of the CHRO is central to this. Who we hire, how we grow our people, how we reward and how drive a culture of curiosity and collaboration.

Q: How can organisations leverage this evolution of HR?

A: Amplify the voice of the CHRO in the executive and in teams. Bring the business and our people closer. Invest in the skills that we need to navigate the world we live in. Bring new skills into the HR space.

Q: Do you have any advice for the CHRO Awards nominees this year?

A: Don’t forget to take care of yourself as you take care of others.

He is currently a PhD candidate with a focus on business administration and management at Gordon's Institute of Business Science. He sits on a number of boards and also serves as an exco advisor to leading companies.

Abdullah joins a bevy of key industry players as part of the judging panel, including:

  • Chairperson of South African Board for People Practices, James Ramakau
  • Managing partner at Drayton Glendower & Mokhobo, Moula Mokhobo-Amegashie
  • FirstRand group chief people officer, Tswelo Kodisang
  • COO of Allen & Overy, Jane Waters
  • Director of value creation at GIBS, Dr Roze Phillips
  • Accenture Africa CEO Vukani Mngxati
  • CHRO MTN Group and 2019 CHRO of The Year, Paul Norman
  • Group CFO at Vodacom, Raisibe Morathi
  • Independent executive director and CEO of Shirley Zinn Consulting, Shirley Zinn
  • Director of organisation transformation at Deloitte Consulting, Tumelo Seaketso
  • Executive director at Nzuri Management Consultancy & Investment, Xolile Sizani

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