The Internet Retailer article, “Why Chief Digital Officers Are All the Rage,” quotes Russell Reynolds Associates’
Margot McShane. She explains which types of candidates are in high demand right now. The article is excerpted below.
So what does a chief digital officer do?
Hamilton, who joined Vitamin Shoppe in November, oversees a staff of 60 across departments including e-commerce, customer care, social media, analytics and digital product management.
"We're looking at the entire customer journey and that means having a focused effort on looking at our customer; she needs help, how do we help her along the way?" she says.
With no roadmap when she started her position, Hamilton says she had to rely on her e-commerce experience, which included stints at such retail giants as Best Buy Inc. (No. 12) and women's apparel retail chain Ann Taylor (parent company Ascena Retail Group is No. 76).
"The biggest role of a CDO is to serve as the change agent and as a result, it's critical to have very strong leadership and visioning skills," Hamilton says. "Being able to move laterally, not so much straight up the chain, has been key for me. I can sit across the table from supply chain and understand the challenges because I understand the back end. I can work with the merchandising team and gain trust. Having had IT and merchandising report to me, I've been able to get under the hood when it comes to category planning."
Candidates able to fill higher level e-commerce positions in the way Hamilton has defined the role are in high demand because there aren't many of them. "People who have a track record of figuring it out and connecting the dots without an existing game plan are extremely valuable right now," says Margot McShane
, who co-leads the consumer digital practice at recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates.