From CMO to CEO: the route to the top

An increasing number of CEOs are being appointed who have a strong marketing pedigree. This article discusses the options and challenges facing Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) who wish to rise farther in the company, based on a global survey of CEOs with marketing backgrounds and top-flight CMOs.

From CMO to CEO: the route to the top

Jonathan Harper and Frank Birkel

With average tenure somewhere between two and three years (depending on the region) the odds are stacked against CMOs progressing into general management and then the top slot. As leaders of the marketing function they are often the first casualty when growth targets are not met. Positioned at the intersection between innovation, sales, supply chain, manufacturing and business leaders they are among the most exposed members of the executive team. What's more, CMOs rarely (if ever) get promoted to CEO in the same company....

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