The average tenure for chief marketing officers of leading U.S. consumer brand companies increased to 48 months in 2014, according to the 11th
annual CMO tenure study by executive search consulting firm Spencer Stuart. The 2014 figure is double CMO tenure in 2004 when Spencer Stuart began formally tracking CMO tenure and represents the first increase in tenure since 2011, when it was 43 months. Data for this year’s CMO tenure study was based on an analysis of tenure of CMOs of the top 100 advertised brands.
“There is a lingering perception that CMO tenure is short, but the reality is the data show long-term stability in the role. This has been the case for several years,” said Greg Welch
, a consultant in the Spencer Stuart Marketing Officer Practice
, who initiated the firm’s first tenure study in 2004. “While CMOs have some work to do match CEO tenure (80 months), there is no question CEOs are confident in giving their CMOs the task of truly leading dramatic change within their organizations. And not surprisingly, thanks to this experience, a number of CMOs moved onto larger general management roles in the past year.”
CMOs’ ability to leverage digital and analytics to create value for the business also has been a factor in longer tenure, according to Tom Seclow
, who leads Spencer Stuart’s Marketing Officer Practice. “The ability to create measurably successful marketing initiatives has given CMOs credibility across the organization. CMOs are now clearly the advocate for the customer inside the company.”
Similar to past years of the study, CMO tenure varies widely across industries. Tenure is shortest in the automotive, restaurant and retail sectors, averaging between 26 to 40 months. CMOs in technology companies, meanwhile, continue to enjoy the longest tenure, averaging 65 months. Not far behind, are financial services and industrial CMOs, both averaging 63 months.
Average CMO Tenure through the Years (in months)
Average CMO Tenure by Industry (in months)
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