SHRM Names Marcela Perez de Alonso Human Capital Leader of the Year

By Beth Mirza November 23, 2009

Marcela Perez de Alonso, executive vice president, human resources, for Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, Calif., has been named the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2009 Human Capital Leader of the Year.

The award was presented Nov. 20, 2009, during SHRM’s annual Leadership Conference, which brings together SHRM’s volunteer leaders from around the world.

The award honors an HR professional who has demonstrated leadership by developing and executing strategies with direct and measurable impact on his or her organization.

Perez de Alonso is responsible for HP’s HR initiatives for approximately 321,000 employees in more than 170 countries. Since joining HP in 2004, Perez de Alonso has launched several initiatives designed to build a “best-in-class” HR organization that drives results and optimizes the company’s growth and efficiencies. She is currently leading the development and implementation of a robust, multidimensional, data-driven framework to help HR drive smarter and better informed decisions for the business.

“I believe our leading-edge HR Optimization Model (HROM) will have a highly significant impact on the business moving forward,” Perez de Alonso wrote in an e-mail interview with SHRM Online. “HROM represents a new way of thinking and a new approach to HR—one that is grounded in data and analytics of workforce productivity, cost, quality and engagement across multiple levels of the business. This model raises the bar on what and how HR delivers value to the business.”

Significant accomplishments during her tenure include:

  • Established HR as an integral and strategic partner to all of HP’s lines of businesses. By implementing innovative workplace planning processes, she has contributed to HP’s growth from $79.9 billion in net revenue in 2004 to $118.4 billion in 2008.
  • Introduced innovative HR programs that cultivate a high-performance culture, including talent management and leadership development programs to extend breadth and capability among HP employees.
  • Orchestrated the integration ofmore than 30 acquisitions into HP, including Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in 2008. Perez de Alonso and her HR team helped execute an aggressive plan to close the $13 billion EDS acquisition in about three months.As a result of the transaction, HP nearly doubled its employee base.
  • Increased overall employee satisfaction with HP as an employer by more than 10 percentage points between 2004 and 2008.
  • Advanced HP’s position in industry rankings and as an exemplary leader in diversity and workplace practices, including attaining acknowledgment from Fortune, BusinessWeek, Working Mother, the Human Rights Campaign, The Great Place to Work Institute, Hewitt Associates, DiversityInc., and Human Resource Management.

“Thinking about everything our organization has accomplished, I am most proud of the commitment, persistence and overall excellence of my HR team—particularly how we transformed HR and positioned it to effectively support and drive the company transformation,” Perez de Alonso wrote. “We have been able to develop critical HR strategies and implement core programs and processes that both create opportunities for our people and advance our broader business needs.”

Her leadership and commitment to the HR profession has garnered significant recognition among her peers. In 2007, she was awarded the Hunt-Scanlon Human Resources Leadership Award for accomplishments in driving bottom-line results through effective human capital management.

She was also named one of the 50 Most Important Hispanics in Technology and Business by Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology and was honored as the 2005 Corporate Executive of the Year by Hispanic-Net.

“My passion has always been helping others define and achieve their personal goals,” Perez de Alonso wrote. “In that regard, HR has been an exceptionally rewarding career path. It provides me abundant opportunities to help people grow and fulfill their career aspirations while simultaneously helping the business deliver on its goals.”

Beth Mirza is senior editor for HR News. She can be reached at


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Search Jobs


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect

HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.