Despo Michaelides

Chief HR and Diversity Officer for AXA Insurance Gulf


Despo Michaelides is a diverse seasoned HR professional having both HR and Legal experience in global, regional and country leadership roles. She currently leads the Human Resource and Diversity function for AXA Insurance Gulf in the GCC. She is a highly skilled executive with proven Strategy, Business Transformation, Mergers & Acquisitions and Change Management experience. Having held various multi-faceted roles during her career notably in high profile industries mainly in the telecom, legal expenses insurance, medical assistance, services and ITC sectors.

Dynamic and creative self-starter, with over 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing successful strategies in diverse domains (HR, Communication, Corporate Responsibility, Diversity and Inclusiveness and Legal management). She has worked in multicultural/complex matrix environments both at headquarter and operational levels, leading teams across Africa, Middle East and Asia.

As Chief HR and Diversity Officer for AXA Insurance Gulf, Despo is responsible for driving the HR strategy, Talent and Development, Resourcing, Reward and Recognition, Employer Brand, Culture, Diversity & Inclusion and Leadership Development and Engagement.

Despo holds a Bachelor of Arts and LLB Degree from the University of the North West, South Africa. In 2018 she was honored to be awarded the Top 100 Global Human Resources Minds from the World HRD Congress.