John Sullivan, Ph.D.

John Sullivan, Ph.D.

Retired Professor
Retired Faculty


Faculty Site URL:

John Sullivan, Ph.D., has been a professor of management for over 26 years at San Francisco State University. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms. He has worked with over 200 different businesses and organizations in more than 30 countries around the world as a speaker or advisor.

He has written a weekly column for ERE for over eleven years. Overall, he has written ten books, dozens of white papers and over 700 articles. He was the chief talent officer for Agilent (the 40,000+ employee HP spin off). He has appeared on the CBS and ABC national nightly news, CNN and in various publications including Fortune, the Economist, CIO, BusinessWeek, the WSJ, the Washington Post, Money, Time and every major HR magazine. Fast company called him the Michael Jordan of hiring. He was listed among the 40 most influential people in HR. Tom Peters cites and utilizes his work in his latest book Re-Imagine.

Areas of Expertise:

Others have acknowledged his leading edge expertise in various areas including:

  • Strategic HR
  • Building a performance culture
  • Metrics and the dollar value of HR results
  • Retention
  • Workforce planning
  • Employee referral programs
  • College recruiting
  • Recruiting strategies
  • Recruiting structures
  • Employment branding
  • On-boarding/ orientation
  • Increasing workforce productivity

Professor Sullivan advises, designs strategies and gives presentations to HR and management teams throughout the world.


  • Ph.D. (1978), University of Florida

Honors and Awards: 

  • Editors award - Outstanding Article of the year NCHRA , HR West (2003)