Geoff McDonald Former Global VP HR Marketing, Communications, Sustainability & Water, Unilever

Talks about  Culture, Leadership, Resilience, Sustainability
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Geoff McDonald
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Geoff speaks with brutal honesty about his work-related depression whilst at Unilever – a taboo subject in even the most progressive organisations – and reveals how he is challenging the culture of silence around mental illness. Geoff’s background in HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is impeccable. During his 25 years with Unilever (with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global, working across Africa, Middle-East, Turkey, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organisation change, capability development with particular reference to marketing and business transformation with purpose at its core. Today, Geoff is a much sought-after speaker, inspiring and provoking organisations to put purpose at the centre of everything they do and to challenge the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.

He has spoken at Cambridge University, Warwick and Oxford as well as corporate events across Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, and Africa. Central and Eastern Europe.



Bipolar World of Business – Profit and Purpose

Leadership for the New Normal

Wellbeing and Mental Health in Corporates – How to Break the Stigma

HR’s Role in Embedding Purpose within an Organisation

HR’s role in embedding purpose within an organisation the size, scale and complexity of Unilever

The Unilever story of purpose driving growth and profitability

“You are indeed the biggest champion and understand what we are doing more than many others in the company. You live it and breath it. To now make the knowledge available to many others, and hopefully create the momentum for biggest change is a very noble cause. Thanks for doing that. Purpose is indeed closely linked to wellness and not many people see this yet. Again you are a pioneer here. You will enjoy the challenges and opportunities and you are well prepared for it. We will see each other still but already thanks for all you have done for this great institution. We will benefit from it for years to come”

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

"I so enjoyed hosting Charlotte at one of our Talks@Goldman Sachs. She was an impressive speaker, recounting her struggle with depression but inspiring us all with the way in which she dealt with it. I admired her honesty and was fascinated by her entrepreneurialism in writing and publishing her book of thoughts for the day. Definitely worth a read."

Sally Boyle, Partner and International Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs

"Thanks for yesterday Geoff - extremely powerful content and delivery, which made a great impact on the team. Afterwards,I was struck by how many people were openly discussing ‎the strains in their own life and the overall absence of cynicism about the event - both of which are a big departure from the norm and a proof point of the difference you are making in the world"

Lee Hodgkinson, UK CEO, Euronext