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Industry Contributor 9 Jun 2019 - 2 min read

Median CMO tenure slides below 2.5 years

By Paul McIntyre - Executive Editor

A study of the top 100 CMOs in the U.S. has found both mean and median tenures fell during 2018 (Wall Street Journal).


Key points

  • Average CMO tenure in 2018 fell by one month to 43 months (3.6 years), according to annual report by executive search firm Spencer Stuart
  • Median CMO tenure fell from 31 months to 27.5 months (2.6 years to 2.3 years)
  • CFOs and CEOs last much longer
  • “Pressure on CMOs has never been greater,” - Greg Welch, consultant, Spencer Stuart
  • But more “top-notch” CMOs being brought into boards
  • And companies outside top 100 ‘busier than ever’ hiring marketers

Australia's recent flurry of CMO changes at Coles, Virgin, Myer, Tourism Australia, NAB and beyond suggests Australia is tough for CMO land too. Although a US study, Spencer Stuart's findings are directional for most developed markets. The upside is that for ambitious growth-orientated marketers, there's an abundance of opportunity. The downside it's not marketing as we've known it. Traditional media and brand metrics, although vitally important, are not working for the c-suite. A new business-based marketing language, deeper understanding of the right media metrics - versus the vanity alternatives - and data management and regulatory policy are just a few hot spots for new-world CMOs who keep their jobs. And did we mention growth? 

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Paul McIntyre

Executive Editor

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