MongoDB ropes in Harsha Jalihal as chief people officer 

With 20 years of professional experience, Jalihal was also a member of the Council that shaped the HR 4.0 framework at the World Economic Forum. 


General-purpose database platform, MongoDB, has brought on board Harsha Jalihal as the chief people officer of the company. Jalihal brings with her two decades of experience in the field and will be in charge of overseeing the Company’s global operations and supporting its 2,100 plus employees across 29 countries. As a part of the executive leadership team, she will lead workforce strategy, talent acquisition and development, D&I, rewards and engagement.  

A statistics graduate from the Madras Christian College, Jalihal began her career in the marketing space, after pursuing an MBA from the Xavier Institute of Management. Her professional journey started at Polaris Software Lab in 2000, where she joined as a management trainee with the global business development team. In her two-year stint there, she was promoted twice and became a business development executive.

She moved on from Polaris to join The Millard Group for a brief one-year stint as an executive search consultant, responsible for defining and executing a business plan to launch an executive search desk focussed on the outsourcing and consulting industry.  

Her next stop was Cognizant Technology Solutions, where she served the longest stint of her career. She joined as an HR generalist and business partner responsible for over 2,000 associates across eight business units in North America. Over her decade-long tenure, she moved up the ranks to become HR manager for M&A, then chief of staff for the office of the president, and finally, the director for campus recruitment.  

After Cognizant, Jalihal switched sectors and got into the consumer goods industry, by joining Unilever in 2014, as the HR director for marketing in North America. The five years that followed, she rose up the ladder to occupy the chair of VP-HR, US, in September 2019.  

After Unilever she served as a member of the Global Future Council on New Education and Work Agenda at the World Economic Forum, where she helped shape the HR 4.0 framework as a co-author. She served in the Council for a year before joining MongoDB full time, as chief people officer. 

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