The Best of Times and the Worst of Times: Record Turnover and CMO Succession Crisis Continues
To better understand current trends in the appointment and turnover of marketing officers, Russell Reynolds Associates tracked and analyzed 376 notable, publicly disclosed marketing-leadership moves in 2017.
CMO succession crisis intensifies. In 2017, 74 percent of publicly reported chief marketing officer appointments were external hires. This compares to 69 percent in 2016 and 68 percent in 2015. Since companies rarely select new chief marketing officers from existing ranks, aspiring CMOs will likely need to switch employers to attain the top marketing job. A notable exception is Fortune 100 companies, where 84 percent of 2017 CMO appointments were promoted internally, up from 82 percent in 2016 and 77 percent in 2015. This suggests large companies have deeper benches of talent and development opportunities that foster internal promotions.
Record turnover continues. There were 376 publicly reported CMO appointments in 2017 in the US, up from 350 in 2016 and 281 in 2015. This is the highest number we have observed since we began tracking all marketing appointments in 2014.
Approaching gender parity. 43 percent of newly-appointed CMOs in 2017 were female. This is identical to 2016 and up from 37 percent in 2015.
Reduced mobility across industries. Despite the increase in external appointments, the proportion of companies recruiting CMOs from different industries declined. Only 27 percent of marketing appointments came from outside the industry, a decrease from 33 percent in 2016 and 35 percent in 2015. The consumer and technology sectors overwhelmingly appointed from within their own industry – each greater than 80 percent. On the other hand, the healthcare and industrial sectors demonstrate a sustained pattern of recruiting CMOs from outside their respective industries. Almost three-quarters of healthcare CMO appointments came from outside the sector in 2017, similar to 2016.
futures. More exiting CMOs are moving into P&L leadership roles than ever before, suggesting the CMO is viewed as having greater commercial and strategic impact. Of CMOs who exited their roles between July 2016 and June 2017 and have taken on a new role, 28 percent are now in a P&L role, an increase from 22 percent in the previous 12 months.
Industry Breakdown of Marketing Moves
The consumer industry accounted for 52 percent of all marketing-leadership turnover in 2017, on par with the 51 percent seen in the prior year, but down from 56 percent in 2015. Within consumer, the retail sector has shown increased volatility, with 14 percent of all marketing moves in 2017, 13 percent in 2016, and 9 percent in 2015. Moreover, there has been over a 120 percent increase of annual retail marketing moves from 2015 to 2017.
For the remainder of the sectors within the consumer industry, consumer digital and media and consumer products and services have seen steadily less turnover in each of the last two years. They accounted for 14 and 9 percent of all marketing moves in 2017, respectively. Leisure and hospitality had 15 percent of all marketing moves last year, which was an increase from 11 percent the prior year but a slight drop off from 16 percent in 2015.
Internal vs. External Hires
The trend of externally hiring top marketers continued strongly last year as external appointments accounted for 74 percent of all marketing moves. The proportion was 69 percent in 2016 and 68 percent in 2015. Given that just one out of every five CMO appointments came from within the organization in 2017, it’s clear that many companies struggle with CMO succession planning.
An analysis of Fortune 100 companies gives a different perspective, however. Seventy-two percent of current F100 CMOs and 84 percent of those appointed in 2017 were internal promotions. Given the size of these businesses and the amount of resources they have, it is likely they place a bigger focus on CMO development and succession than others. Conversely, these statistics may also suggest that F100 businesses are more apprehensive about hiring disruptive marketing talent than smaller companies.
Companies in the industrial and natural resources and healthcare industries, as well as the consumer products and services sector have seen steady increases in external CMO hires. In 2015, just 35 percent of marketing appointments were external. That proportion jumped 46 percentage points over the last two years – 81 percent in 2017. Additionally, Seventy-nine percent of healthcare marketing appointments in 2017 were external, up from 76 percent in 2016 and 71 percent the previous year. Even the consumer products and services sector – known for homegrown marketing talent – saw a 7 percentage point increase over the last two years, despite having the lowest proportion of external appointments among all sectors. By contrast, the financial services industry is trending toward promoting more internal talent to the top marketing post. In 2017, 68 percent of marketing appointments were made externally, down from 82 percent in 2016 and 86 percent in 2015.
Looking deeper at internal appointments, the average tenure within an organization prior to promotion to the CMO role has seen a significant decrease. Across all industries, that number has dropped to 7.4 years, down from 8.2 years in 2016 and 10.7 in 2015.
Inside of Industry vs. Outside of Industry
When they turn to external CMO hires, consumer and technology businesses have a strong tendency to appoint CMOs from companies within their respective industries. About 80 percent of appointments in each industry fit this profile in 2017.
Financial services and industrial and natural resources companies are also trending toward appointing marketing leadership from within their respective industries. Three of every five external CMO appointments within financial services came from the same industry in 2017, which was up from 53 percent the prior year and 36 percent in 2015. The proportion for industrial companies was 47 percent in 2017, an increase from 33 percent and 17 percent, in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Overall, 73 percent of all external marketing appointments were inter-industry last year. This was an increase from 67 percent the previous year and 65 percent in 2015. One potential downside of this trend is that it may suggest a prevalence of less-disruptive hires within the marketing function at a time when many companies need a fresh perspective.
Since the majority of marketing moves come from consumer-facing companies, we took a deeper look at the industry. Taking into account the individual sectors –
Both apparel/retail and consumer products and services companies hired the majority of marketing leaders from within their respective sectors in 2017. The consumer digital and media sector saw the biggest decrease from 2016 to 2017, as the percentage of inter-sector marketing hires fell from 61 to 47. Regarding leisure and hospitality, exactly half of CMO appointments were from within the same sector, which was a slight increase from 48 percent in 2016 and a decrease from 58 percent in 2015.
Where Do Chief Marketing Officers Go?
To continue to follow the career paths of top marketers, Russell Reynolds Associates also tracked and analyzed 118 outgoing CMOs who left their roles between July 2016 and June 2017. Among this group of outgoing
The largest proportion of outgoing marketers during this time period – 44 percent – moved onto a new company. Of those, 59 percent took another marketing role; most in the same industry. Just over 20 percent of outgoing marketers were promoted internally, of which 38 percent took a P&L leadership role such as president or CEO.
Of the CMOs who exited their roles between July 2016 and June 2017 and have taken on a new role, they more likely to be appointed to a P&L leadership role outside their respective organization than inside – 17 percent versus 13 percent.
See below for details on the full list of marketing moves from Q3-Q4 2017. For details on the moves from Q1-Q2 2017, see our previous report from July 2017: Record Marketing Turnover and the CMO Succession Crisis.
APPAREL / RETAIL
Carhartt has appointed Tony Ambroza as chief brand officer. Ambroza is responsible for leading brand engagement including TV commercials, social media, events, retail marketing and direct-to-consumer. He was most recently senior vice president, marketing, at the company.
Columbia Sportswear saw the departure of its chief marketing officer, Stu Redsun.
David's Bridal has appointed Liz Crystal as executive vice president, chief marketing officer. Crystal was most recently executive vice president, chief marketing officer, at Express.
David Yurman has appointed Carey Krug as chief marketing officer. Krug is responsible for overseeing advertising, branding, marketing and digital strategies. She was most recently senior vice president, global marketing – Polo Ralph Lauren, at Ralph Lauren.
Ethan Allen Global has appointed Bridget O'Brien as
The Fresh Market has appointed Mary Kellmanson as
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has appointed Amy Parker as vice president, marketing. Parker is responsible for all aspects of marketing and advertising. She was most recently senior vice president, marketing & advertising, at
Gap Inc. has appointed Mary Alderete as
GNC saw the departure of its executive vice president and chief marketing & eCommerce officer, Jeffrey Hennion.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has appointed Mike Dwyer as chief marketing officer, North America. Dwyer is responsible for brand, product, retail & shopper marketing, eCommerce, market research and Goodyear Racing. He was most recently global head of brand marketing at the company.
Guitar Center has appointed Jeannine D'Addario as chief marketing & customer officer. D'Addario is responsible for branding, media, internal & external communications, creative services, analytical marketing, digital, event & entertainment marketing and consumer engagement. She was most recently chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market.
Hudson's Bay Company has appointed Milton Pappas as chief marketing officer. Pappas is responsible for leading the
J. Crew has appointed Vanessa Holden as
Kroger saw the departure of its vice president, customer communications & marketing, Natalie Ream.
Le Creuset has appointed Christopher Scinto as vice president, marketing. Scinto was most recently senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Clarks Americas.
Lululemon has appointed Fred Uribe as senior vice president, brand. Uribe was most recently chief marketing officer at MCM Worldwide.
Mills Fleet Farm has appointed Terry Brophey as senior vice president, marketing. Brophey was most recently corporate vice president, integrated marketing, at Tempur Sealy International.
Office Depot has appointed Jerri Devard as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Devard is responsible for brand positioning, overseeing the integration of all marketing and communications initiatives and driving the growth and implementation of strategic marketing activities. She was most recently senior vice president and chief marketing officer at ADT.
PetSmart has appointed Joshua Kanter as executive vice president, marketing & customer experience. Kanter is responsible for brand marketing, digital, media and creative to deliver a best-in-class customer experience. He was most recently senior vice president, marketing strategy, at Viking Cruises.
Swanson Health Products has appointed Corey Bergstrom as
Tailored Brands has appointed Frank Hamlin as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Hamlin was most recently chief marketing officer at GameStop.
Total Wine & More has appointed Keith Colbourn as executive vice president, chief marketing officer. Colbourn was most recently senior vice president, loyalty & lifecycle marketing, at Target.
UGG has appointed Ian Stewart as vice president, marketing. Stewart was previously vice president, global marketing, at Converse.
Under Armour saw the departure of its chief marketing officer, Andy Donkin.
Victoria's Secret has appointed Jann Parish as
CONSUMER DIGITAL AND MEDIA
ABC Entertainment has appointed Rebecca Daugherty as executive vice president, marketing. Daugherty is responsible for all marketing, strategic planning and creative development. She was most recently vice president, marketing – Dramas, Movies & Specials, at the company.
Airbnb saw the departure of its chief marketing officer, Jonathan Mildenhall.
Amazon has appointed Neil Lindsay as vice president, worldwide marketing. Lindsay was most recently vice president, Amazon Devices, at the company.
Ancestry has appointed Caroline Sheu as senior vice president, U.S. marketing. Sheu is responsible for marketing and brand experience, including brand, performance, creative, product marketing and marketing analytics. She was most recently vice president, global digital & customer marketing, at Gap Inc.
Audible has appointed TJ Huttner as senior vice president, global marketing. Huttner was most recently senior vice president, marketing – US, at the company.
BARK has appointed Jay Livingston as
Blink Health has appointed Robert Birge as
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment has appointed Elizabeth Brooks as chief marketing officer. Brooks is responsible for all the marketing efforts including branding, advertising, merchandising, creative, digital and in-game presentation. She was most recently chief marketing officer and executive-in-residence at Sopris Capital Associates.
Everything But The House has appointed Adam Weber as
FCB Global has appointed Jennifer Hohman as
FTD Companies has appointed Jeff Severts as executive vice president, strategy
Helix has appointed Deena Bahri as
Hulu has appointed Kelly Campbell as chief marketing officer. Campbell is responsible for brand marketing, performance marketing, media, content marketing, creative, public relations and consumer research. She was most recently senior director, global growth marketing – Google Cloud, at Google.
IMAX Corporation has appointed JL Pomeroy as
Meredith Corporation has appointed Alysia Borsa as chief marketing & data officer. Borsa is responsible for corporate marketing strategy, integrated marketing communications, first-party data strategy and management, and consumer- and advertiser-focused insights and analytics across all national media channels. She was most recently executive vice president, chief data & insights officer, at the company.
OfferPad has appointed Darrin Shamo as