[Skip to Content]

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2020, Click to Enter The 2021 Stevie Awards for Great Employers


Company: Xandr
Category: Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year

Nomination Title: Xandr’s Michele Golden - Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year



As Chief Human Resources Officer at Xandr, Michele Golden has been instrumental in the growth of the One Xandr global community and creating a safe, supportive environment that helps all Xandr employees bring their full selves to work and continue to grow and develop as professionals. With more than 1,900 employees across 30 offices around the world, Michele played a key role in coordinating the integration of legacy AT&T AdCo, AppNexus, DirecTV and clypd employees into one unified business. Taking into account Xandr’s strong global diversity, Michele has managed all aspects of the HR organization, while enhancing the company’s approach to diversity and inclusion and employee growth and development. This has included the launch of Xandr’s company- wide Corporate Social Responsibility program, Xandr Cares, designed to create pathways for future generations of diverse talent, and leverage Xandr’s technology resources for good, harness employee volunteerism and expertise worldwide, and spearhead positive change across markets. By making sure that Xandr employees have the support and training they need, she has helped Xandr continue its mission to Make Advertising Better.

Throughout the past year, Xandr’s HR team executed impressive rollouts under Michele’s direction. Highlights include the launch of Xandr’s new people strategy, which is responsible for successfully integrating legacy AT&T Ad Co, AppNexus, DirecTV and clypd employees under the Xandr brand. Xandr’s new people strategy has led to significant and positive changes for the company’s employees, including the rollout of a new job architecture, tools and systems to advance employee careers, like the Personal Learning Experience. This gives employees access to a single destination where they can plan and track their development training. Beginning with Xandr’s NYC headquarters, Michele has implemented physical changes in each office that is supportive of everyone, ranging from wellness rooms, lactation rooms, to ADA compliance across Xandr’s global footprint. To complement the changes in the physical offices, Michele implemented policies that promote diversity in the workplace, like increased parental leave, pay equity and anti- harassment training that continues to have a positive impact on all employees within the organization.

Michele has also been instrumental in the development of a comprehensive strategy for diversity and inclusion embedded in advocacy, talent, culture, agility and partnerships. Through her support of the company’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are open to all employees and reflect the diversity of the company, Michele matched each group with a member of the executive leadership team. This has ensured all employees have an advocate and a mentor that can support their growth and give them a voice within the company.

Xandr operates in a highly competitive talent acquisition landscape at the intersection of media, technology and advertising, so it was critical for Michele and the HR team to prioritize an end-to-end talent acquisition and employee retention strategy to accelerate company growth. In addition to Michele’s significant contributions integrating employees under the One Xandr brand and creating an inclusive and welcoming physical environment in each office, Michele also made strides in retooling Xandr’s approach to hiring and attracting talent. Michele lead the evolution of Xandr’s onboarding process from a half- day program to a full 90- day experience, granting new employees the opportunity to learn further about the highly complex, dynamic advertising technology industry.

Michele is committed to looking beyond traditional pools of talent and has retooled the Xandr hiring approach to focus on hiring for potential, a significant addition to the onboarding experience. Xandr reserves 20% of its internships for diverse coding partners, and it is important to Michele and other senior leadership that those partners have an equal footing for success within Xandr. Michele is not only passionate about providing an inclusive working environment for Xandr employees today, but also ensuring that there is a pipeline of diverse talent for the Xandr of tomorrow.

Michele has also built strategic, long- term partnerships with organizations that give back to the local communities where Xandr’s offices are located. One in particular is Xandr’s partnership with Girls Who Code, which has helped create pathways for future generations of diverse leaders in advertising and technology.

By conducting rolling, internal surveys of new hires, Michele has made Xandr’s onboarding process reflective of its “people- first” strategy. Integrating an internal survey into the new process has made the initiative nimble, able to pivot to respond to feedback by new hires in real- time. These survey results better inform Michele and Xandr’s Human Resources Department as it looks to adjust the roadmap for the remainder of 2020 and beyond. To- date 154 employees have participated in the expanded onboarding process, with 95% agreeing or strongly agreeing that the content covered in orientation was relevant to their first day at Xandr. Additionally, 86% of new hires agreed or strongly agreed that the new onboarding process was “well organized and ran smoothly” and was “the proper length of time.”

Links/Supporting Documents: