VP, People & Culture
Joe Walsh is in his fourth season as the Vice President of People & Culture for the Arizona Diamondbacks, his eighth in Major League Baseball and his 20th in the professional sports industry. In his role, Walsh oversees all people related responsibilities for the D-backs including culture, leadership development, talent acquisition, retention, Team Player relations, total rewards, organizational development, wellness, HRIS and payroll. He also develops and delivers the D-backs’ Leadership Academy, an annual yearlong cohort of Team Players engaged in classroom leadership development curriculum.
Prior to his move to Arizona, Walsh was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons from 2013-17. In Detroit, he was a member of the PS&E Executive Leadership Team overseeing the Human Resources Function for the NBA franchise as well as the DTE Energy Music Theater, the Meadowbrook Amphitheater and the Michigan Lottery Amphitheater at Freedom Hill. He joined the Palace in July of 2013 from his position as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf in Carlsbad, Calif., where he led all Human Resources functions, strategies, tactics, and teammates in the US and overseas for the No. 1 golf equipment brand in the world.
Walsh previously spent 4 seasons (2007-10) in Major League Baseball as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Los Angeles Dodgers where he was responsible for all aspects of Human Resources including coaching, leadership development, recruiting, training, employee relations, administration, compliance, compensation, benefits and organizational development. While with the Dodgers, Walsh was instrumental in developing and implementing a new mission, vision and values with the team president and executive team as well as his work with the club’s Minor League affiliates and player development employees.
He came to the Dodgers after spending his first tour and 4-plus years at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, serving as the Director of Global Human Resources. Walsh was responsible for International Human Resources including offices in the USA, Europe, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He was a founding member of the company’s Coaching and Leadership Development initiative and served as Executive Coach for over 20 leaders throughout the company. Walsh was a member of the Adidas Group Human Resources Core Team based in Germany overseeing Human Resources policy and strategy for Adidas, Reebok, Rockport and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf brands.
Walsh’s first entry point into the sports industry came shortly after earning his MBA, at CLS Sports. As the company’s first Director of Marketing, Walsh worked with company founders, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Jeff Sperbeck to create a marketing and philanthropic agency for current and former professional athletes. Walsh was instrumental in the creation of the company’s event business which included several west coast 3-on-3 NBA Hoop-It-Up street basketball tournaments, NFL Quarterback Club Golf tournaments and the annual gala for Lott’s All Stars Helping Kids Foundation. He was also a key player in the execution of the company’s limited-edition lithograph business division as well as the successful launches of book autobiographies by Lott and Craig.
Walsh has held leadership positions in both human resources and finance in the high technology sector for Qualcomm, Cisco Systems and LSI Logic. During his tenure in Silicon Valley, he focused on strategic and tactical alliances from both headquarter and business unit locations within each company, highlighting the importance of true business partnerships across company functions.
A 1989 graduate of Santa Clara University where he earned his BSC in Finance, Walsh received his MBA in International Business from the University of San Francisco in 1993. He also holds Executive Coaching Certifications from the International Coach Federation and the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara.
Walsh was instrumental in the creation of the Bronco Network – an exclusive group of Santa Clara University Alumni who work annually with SCU student athletes as mentors during their time at the University. In its fourth year, Walsh serves as a 1:1 mentor to a group of NCAA student athletes as well as a resource to prospective student athletes who are interested in coaching, development and career planning. Walsh is a former Board member of the Compensation and Benefits Association of San Diego, and a current member of the Society for Human Resource Management. He has earned 2 designations from World at Work (formerly the American Compensation Association) – the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and the Global Remuneration Professional (GRP), and is a current World at Work member. He served on the Board of Directors at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he chaired the Human Resources Committee. Walsh served as an Alpha group facilitator at St. Regis Church.
He and his wife, Deborah, along with their daughters, Rylie and Reese, live in Scottsdale.