Today, Governor Rick Scott appointed Craig J. Nichols to serve as Secretary of the Department of Management Services, beginning July 9, 2012. With 27 years of experience managing talent for domestic and global companies, Nichols has developed business-oriented, innovative strategies in human resources, including strategic planning, staff training and development, merger and acquisition integration, and expense management resulting in significant cost savings. His expertise will be integral to Governor Scott’s continued mission to reduce the size and cost of state government through increased efficiencies.
“As we work during the next two years to launch major productivity and efficiency initiatives, Craig will bring to the agency a combination of large-organization experience, strong operational and strategic focus, and executive leadership,” Governor Scott stated. “I am confident his corporate experience will ensure state government remains focused on making Florida the best state for the private sector to grow and create jobs.”
Since 2010, Nichols has been an independent consultant assisting Right Management Inc. with talent management and leadership development. Previously, as vice president of human resources and chief compliance officer for Republic Services from 2000 to 2009, he was instrumental in transforming a collection of acquired companies into a successful corporate enterprise with 13,000 employees in over 300 locations. He developed the company’s human resources vision and was the leader of its implementation.
At Lexis-Nexis, Nichols led human resources initiatives that yielded millions of dollars in cost savings through reorganizations of the company’s marketing, sales and related functions. During his tenure with the company from 1996 to 2000, its revenue increased over 90 percent through acquisitions and improved market strategies.
From 1988 to 1996, Nichols led several human resources efforts for Whirpool Corporation, including managing organization change and performance improvement initiatives, as well as human resources functions related to the company’s significant international expansion. This included directing the company’s regional human resources strategy during its expansion throughout Latin America.
Nichols gained his early practical knowledge of business and human resources while working with Shell Oil and Frito-Lay Inc. He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial management with a minor in business from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. He has served as chair of the Center for Human Resources Management at Florida State University and on the advisory board for the Nova Southeastern University Hudson Institute of Entrepreneurship and Executive Education.