Why Are CMOs Dropping Like Flies?

Intense Demand to Prove ROI Is Contributing to Churn

AdvertsingAge | September 2, 2016

The AdvertisingAge article, “Why Are CMOs Dropping Like Flies?” featured Russell Reynolds Associates' research on CMOs in "Marketing Moves 2016: Q1-Q2." The article is excerpted below.​

A study published last month by Russell Reynolds Associates shows that CMO turnover is higher than ever. In some industries, the trend is eye-popping -- particularly in retail, where 48% of the top 30 retailers in the U.S. have had a change in marketing leadership in the last 12 months. Consumer tech, media, CPG and hospitality industries also had high levels of churn in the CMO hot seat.

What's more, 62% of companies replace their CMOs with someone from outside the company, a clear indicator that many CEOs don't believe anyone else who works at their companies has the answers either.


Well, in interviews with a dozen CMOs and CEOs, Russell Reynolds concluded that there were eight distinct factors -- but if I were pressed to summarize them, it would be "Digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, and CEOs making scapegoats out of CMOs to buy more time to deal with digital."

The business world today places intense demand for a quantifiable ROI on every dollar of marketing expenditure -- and an overly optimistic expectation that digital will be able to deliver it.

To read the full article, click here.

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Why Are CMOs Dropping Like Flies?