No one liked it, and the system is now changed. But for a while, under Ken Lewis’ Human Resource “gestapo” leader, Steele Alphin, the firm’s HR department was unlike any other we’ve seen.
“Alphin knew things that Lewis liked to do and that knew what he didn’t like to do,” says Farrell. So Alphin could fire someone that Ken didn’t want to. And weirdly, he could assign people to follow top execs around.
“Steele Alphin wanted to know what certain people were doing,” says Farrell. “So he would assign a HR person to ‘shadow’ or work closely with the executives and as a result, he would get back unfiltered information about everyone.”
“Some of these people referred to them as ‘gestapo,’ or ‘brownshirts.'”
But if you were one of its critics, chances are you wouldn’t last long with the firm.
The author of the Crash of the Titans explains how HR became the most powerful department in Bank of America.
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