Hein Knaapen
Case study

Hein Knaapen

Managing Partner, Europe
With over 35 successful years helping corporations maximize returns on people investments, Hein Knaapen is a thought leader in Human Resource management. Designing and implementing people solutions, Hein has used his expertise to drive corporate strategy, develop executive talent and build organizational capability.
Hein is Managing Partner, Europe, at CEO.works. He is currently focused on deploying the Talent to Value™ framework at the executive level. As an advisor and mentor, Hein aims to guide leaders toward maximizing the return on their talent investments.
Prior to his current role, Hein spent 7 years as the Chief HR Officer of ING Bank. As a member of the CEO management team and leadership council, he was directly responsible for implementing the HRM and People Strategy for over 53,000 employees. Hein developed the talent component of the overall business strategy and helped the bank achieve both its employee engagement and enterprise wide financial goals, while reducing the HR cost per employee by 20%, standardizing all people processes, and developing an executive talent succession strategy for consistent and effective senior leadership at the company.
Hein spent a number of successful years at Unilever, working internationally in The Netherlands, Belgium and London as HR Director in various divisions and at corporate level. He successfully led a number of restructuring initiatives, helping the company optimize its resources, streamline, and achieve profitability, all in periods of significant economic challenges. He then joined KPN, at the time a regional telecom operator, as their Chief HR Officer. In that position he revolutionized the company’s talent management practice and redesigned its HR function for enhanced impact.
Hein has been described as a master of precision transformation. His vast HR expertise and innovative approach to the opportunities and challenges in the people management of any company allow him to bring executive effectiveness to the center of organizational capability building. Recipient of a number of HR awards, Hein is a regular guest speaker at key HR forums, teaching and advising business leaders how to improve their results by focusing on their human capital.
In his spare time, Hein enjoys a number of cultural and community service activities. An avid Arts enthusiast, Hein loves opera, classical music, history and literature. He also divides his time between a number of charitable organizations. He is fluent in Dutch, English with working knowledge in German and French. He is married and has two adult children. He is currently located in Amsterdam.
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