Want To Be A CMO? Odds Are You'll Need To Change Companies, As The 'CMO Succession Crisis' Continues


Forbes | September 6, 2018

Forbes published a bylined article, “Want To Be A CMO? Odds Are You'll Need To Change Companies, As The 'CMO Succession Crisis' Continues,” by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Norm Yustin. In it, he reveals the current trends and notable marketing officer moves resulting from this ‘CMO Succession Crisis.’ The article is excerpted below.

The highest level of CMO job shifts on record has taken place during the first half of 2018 -- nearly 200 reported job moves. At Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search firm, we have been tracking CMO moves for over five years, and here are some of the trends we are seeing so far this year:

There Is An Acute CMO Succession Crisis. Nearly 75% of publicly reported chief marketing officer appointments in the first half of 2018 were external hires, a slight increase from 72% at the same point last year. This matches the level of external hiring we have seen for all senior marketing appointments throughout 2016 and 2017. The consistency of hiring marketing talent from the outside rather than promoting internally implies that aspiring next generation CMO leaders will need to change employers to reach the next level of their career. As it stands now, if you hold the number two marketing role in your company, you have a one in four chance of getting your boss’s job.

Gender Parity Remains An Issue. Only 44% of first-half 2018 marketing leadership appointments were women. This is down from 46% in the second half of 2017 and 47% in the second half of 2016. External female hires have dropped the most dramatically, falling from 52% in late 2016 to only 42% in 2018 to date. This trend is concerning, and suggests that companies may not be placing a significant emphasis on recruiting female marketing talent.

Financial Services And Healthcare Industries Show Decrease In Internal Promotions. In 2017, more than one out of every three financial services marketers were promoted into that role internally; in the last year, it dropped to just 1 in 10. Similarly, in healthcare, just 8% of marketing-leadership appointments were internal promotions, a decrease from 25% in the second half of 2017. This trend suggests that both financial services and healthcare companies are almost exclusively seeking outside inspiration and expertise when hiring their top marketers.

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Want To Be A CMO? Odds Are You'll Need To Change Companies, As The 'CMO Succession Crisis' Continues