Kelly® Professional & Industrial Business Unit Executive Announces Retirement; Ushers in Successor

Kelly® Professional & Industrial Business Unit Executive Announces Retirement; Ushers in Successor

TROY, Mich., Dec. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After a successful 20-year career in the staffing industry – the last 13 years spent with Kelly – Deb Thorpe will be retiring in January 2021 from her role as president of Kelly’s Professional & Industrial (P&I) business unit. A respected industry veteran, Thorpe’s deep operational expertise and positive leadership style earned her a reputation as a problem-solver who rallied teams to achieve results in the face of change. 

“I’ve worked with Deb for 13 years and have never seen her back down from a professional challenge,” said Kelly President and CEO Peter Quigley. “Her passion for Kelly’s mission and her unshakeable faith in people has been the driving force behind her long and successful career, and we’ve all benefited from her leadership.”

Thorpe’s career spanned numerous senior leadership roles at Kelly, most recently guiding the evolution of the company’s largest, longest-standing staffing portfolio. After reimagining the delivery model for Kelly’s U.S. operations in 2018-19, she led the new Professional & Industrial business unit through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and is widely credited with accelerating the shift to a virtual model that enabled the team to immediately pivot to all-remote work when the crisis hit.

Thorpe’s legacy at Kelly includes serving as a founding member and chairperson of the company’s first internal business resource group, Leadership in Action, dedicated to supporting the rise of women and future leaders. Outside of Kelly, she was repeatedly named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing list and recognized by SIA as one of the most influential people in the staffing industry. Thorpe had a 20-year career in the automotive sector prior to transitioning to the staffing industry.

Quigley has identified Tim Dupree as Thorpe’s successor in leading P&I. As president of P&I, Dupree will be responsible for driving profitable growth and increased specialization in the office professional, finance, contact center, and light industrial business in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

He steps into his new role with 20 years of Kelly experience and a career that has taken him from a local branch in North Carolina to chief growth officer for Kelly worldwide. He spent five years selling and recruiting in local U.S. markets before transitioning and leading a number of Kelly’s largest strategic relationships. His recent executive positions include leading Kelly’s Global Service organization and leading Global Solutions Design for KellyOCG. As chief growth officer, Dupree has been responsible for designing and implementing Kelly’s new operating model, leading the company’s strategic planning process, reimagining product development, and creating new cross-selling processes to drive growth in Kelly’s specialties.

“Tim’s work over the past year and a half has been critical in accelerating our transition to a specialty talent company,” noted Quigley. “Now he’ll take his obsession with growth—and his first-hand experience in sales and operations—to Kelly Professional & Industrial, where growth will be critical coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dupree earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing from Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, and completed an International Business Studies Program at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland. His certifications include Human Capital Strategist and Strategic Workforce Planning.

About Kelly

Kelly connects talented people to companies in need of their skills in areas including Science, Engineering, Education, Office, Contact Center, Light Industrial, and more. We’re always thinking about what’s next in the evolving world of work, and we help people ditch the script on old ways of thinking and embrace the value of all workstyles in the workplace. We directly employ nearly 440,000 people around the world, and we connect thousands more with work through our global network of talent suppliers and partners in our outsourcing and consulting practice. Visit and let us help with what’s next for you.

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