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Xtrac appoints new head of HR

By Sam Pither
1 July 2022

Xtrac, the Thatcham-based automotive transmission systems specialist, has hired Kirsty Knight as head of human resources.

Knight (pictured above) joins the company from Nationwide Building Society, where she was head of people services transformation. Before that, she was the senior business partner for the society’s retail branch network and regulated advice arms, supporting the HR needs of over 8,000 employees.

Her other experience includes coaching, challenging and advising executive leaders on a range of HR issues, as well as working for Zurich Insurance Company where she was similarly responsible for driving cultural change resulting in improved employee engagement.

She will be charged with supporting the company’s ongoing expansion, with it having recently invested in modern test facilities and increased factory capacity.

Adrian Moore, Chief Executive of Xtrac, said: “It’s a crucial appointment for Xtrac, which prioritises the development of our employees as the best way to serve a wide customer base covering the high-performance automotive sector and top-level race teams globally

“Kirsty is from the next generation of business leaders and has the corporate transformation experience and change management skills necessary for our company’s growth.

“Kirsty steps into the role following Jane Gilham’s recent retirement.  Jane served the company brilliantly for 25 years, supporting our award-winning apprenticeship and undergraduate training schemes, which are a significant industry benchmark for high-quality apprenticeships.”

Read more - Xtrac unveils new apprenticeship academy

Knight’s appointment follows the opening in March this year of a dedicated apprenticeship facility, the Xtrac Academy, at the company’s global headquarters in Berkshire.

It was also in time to witness The Princess Royal’s visit on May 11 to meet recipients of HRH’s eponymous Princess Royal Training Award, assessed by the City & Guilds Group she serves as president.  It’s an award the company has twice received twice now, having previously won it in 2018.

Knight said: “I join the company at an eventful time and look forward to playing a pivotal leadership role in further developing and building Xtrac,

“I relish the challenge and look forward to applying my experience and knowledge to meet the changing cultural needs of a fast-growing company.”

Knight will also rely on her earliest working experience in the role – she began her career as a secondary school teacher after graduating from the University of Warwick. This experience will aid Xtrac in their work with local schools as well as at their apprenticeship academy.

Read more - HRH The Princess Royal visits Xtrac Academy

Featured Image: Kirsty Knight, head of human resources at Xtrac, discusses employee relations policies with engineering director Stuart Croot. Credit: Xtrac.