MSB Professor Named WorldatWork CEO

COURTESY SCOTT CAWOOD McDonough School of Business professor Scott Cawood plans to take office as CEO of WorldatWork in June.

COURTESY SCOTT CAWOOD
Executive Master’s in Leadership professor Scott Cawood plans to take office as CEO of WorldatWork on May 15.

Visiting professor Scott Cawood has been named president and CEO of WorldatWork, a nonprofit human resources association that serves over 20,000 customers.

Cawood is set to take office May 15, replacing CEO of 17 years Anne Ruddy, CCP, CPCU.

Cawood will continue to teach a class on culture and change in the Executive Master’s in Leadership program, a McDonough School of Business graduate program. He has previously worked as Global Leader of Organizational Effectiveness at W.L. Gore & Associates in addition to his teaching position at the university.

Cawood said he believes that his previous experience and his goals for the organization can contribute positively to the future of WorldatWork.

“I kind of stopped in my tracks because it felt like it was really a chance for me to take almost everything I’ve worked on up to my previous jobs and career and really put it into this next chapter,” Cawood said. “I also felt like it was a good time for WorldatWork to have another person to extend the legacy of the current CEO.”

Cawood said he believes he will still be able to balance the demands of his new job at WorldatWork with his course at the university.

“WorldatWork has been very supportive of me keeping this course, because I really do it because I love interacting with students,” Cawood said. “It’s a great way to create learning, and I’ve had a great time there. Every year, I look forward to coming down to work on this class. It’s culture and change, which are two areas that are very important in organizational life, so I have no worries it’s going to create a time issue.”

WorldatWork outlined a detailed three-year plan for the company and its aims for the future. Cawood said that he knows the position will be challenging, but he is optimistic about the future of WorldatWork and what the company plans to do in its next chapter.

Although Cawood has not previously worked for WorldatWork, he has interacted with members of the WorldatWork team at the conferences they have held in years past.

“I attended their conferences. I always loved their conferences. They’re full of bright people; there’s always engaging topics. I’ve never walked away from a WorldatWork conference not learning something pretty profound, so I always had the view of them from not only the HR space but also from the amazing conferences they do,” Cawood said.

Cawood has taught at Georgetown for 14 years while also holding positions at other companies, including W.L. Gore & Associates. He said his teaching style is largely shaped by his real-life experiences, bringing relevant life stories from his career into the classroom.

“The students love the stories I’m able to bring in because I’ve dealt with a lot of change in organizations — big names that we all know and use every day. I’ve been able to work with some of those organizations over the years, so I’m able to bring personal experiences into the classroom and create meaningful ways to connect the concepts with how you actually implement them,” Cawood said.

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