Jacqui Canney - Culturati

Jacqui Canney

Global Chief People Officer, WPP


Jacqui Canney is the Global Chief People Officer for WPP, a creative transformation company that builds better futures for its people, clients and communities.

In this role she is responsible for WPP’s global talent organization to serve 107,000 people across 112 countries, making WPP the destination for the industry’s top talent and for leading all aspects of people strategy, rewards, talent management, recruiting, and leadership development and learning. As a senior leader on WPP’s Executive Committee, she has been charged with ensuring the people strategy is at the heart of WPP’s business transformation, directly reporting to WPP’s Board of Directors on the company’s progress.

Passionate about inclusivity and diversity, Jacqui is creating an integrated talent team that is working with leaders across WPP to build an inclusive culture that fully embraces WPP’s commitment to anti-racism and empowers people to do their best work.

Jacqui helps lead WPP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of its people – from shifting into a global remote-work policy to providing resources for employees in caregiver roles. In addition to serving on the WPP Executive Committee, she is the chair of WPP’s Charity Committee, a member of the WPP Inclusion Council and a leader within the WPP Stella network, a group of senior women leaders who champion gender diversity initiatives.

Prior to joining WPP, she was Walmart's Chief People Officer, where she was responsible for attracting, retaining and developing talent for one of the world’s largest private employers, with more than 2 million associates across 27 countries.

As the primary designer of Walmart’s people strategy, Jacqui used her expertise in driving large-scale and complex change to help shape the future of retail. She executed a full compensation redesign to long-term, measurable goals and KPIs for all executives across the enterprise and changed how the company’s associates work in today’s technology-driven environment to further Walmart’s goal of becoming a people-led, tech empowered enterprise. Jacqui also led the seamless workforce integration of Walmart’s acquisitions of many partners, including Jet.com, Flipkart, DoorDash, Lord & Taylor, ModCloth, Moosejaw and Bonobos, among others.

In 2015, she oversaw the execution of a $2.7 billion investment in Walmart’s people, primarily in education, training and wages. This investment supported the establishment of the following initiatives:

  • Establishing Walmart Academies where front-line hourly supervisors, department managers and assistant managers receive two to six weeks of retail and leadership training. More than 500,000 associates participated in Walmart Academies.
  • Creating Live Better U benefits which enables associates to earn a high school diploma or college degree for only $1 a day.
  • Providing opportunities for more than 25,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates from all 50 states to take advantage of education offerings, including $1 a day college degrees and free high school completion.
  • Launching an app called Even in 2017, giving associates access to earned wages two weeks ahead of their scheduled paychecks. More than 200,000 associates used the app in the first year following the launch.

While at Walmart Jacqui leveraged her roles on the Women’s Officer Caucus and as co-sponsor of the Women’s Resource Council to spearhead programs to empower women. In 2019, this work included a $3 million commitment to Girls Who Code, an investment designed to close the gender gap in tech across the U.S. and increase the engagement of girls in computer science. Under her leadership, Walmart offered new programs such as “returnships” to help stay-at home moms re-enter the workforce, and expanded maternity and parental leave benefits.

Before she served at Walmart, Jacqui was a Senior Executive at Accenture. Over 25 years with the company, she played a pivotal role in helping support the rapid growth of the business – from 21,000 people to more than 300,000 – and net revenue growth of $1.4B to $32.9B. Her accomplishments included leading the people component of a business transformation of a challenged segment with over 30% attrition and declining margins. Within three years the segment became the most profitable business unit with the most highly engaged workforce in the company. Additionally, she led human resources for Accenture Digital, helping grow the business to over 60 percent of the company’s revenue.

Jacqui serves as a board member for the American Marketing Association and Finsbury Glover Hering. She served as the co-chair of the World Economic Forum Future of Work Task Force and a member of the Rework America Business Network, and she participated in the Council on Foreign Relations 2018 Future of Work Task Force. Among Jacqui’s public speaking engagements are events sponsored by the Council Board, Council on Foreign Relations, Fairygodboss, i4cp, Milken Institute, MIT, National Association of Corporate Directors, National Retail Federation, and WebSummit.

Jacqui earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Boston College and has remained active on campus as a member of the Board of Regents and The Council for Women of Boston College. Additionally, she is a mentor to the Boston College Women in Business, serves as a guest lecturer, and frequently collaborates with professors and administrative staff on key digital technology transformation initiatives.