Now You Can Relax … Or Not

cmotenurechartSpencer Stuart, in a recent article, noted that CMO tenure was continuing its upward trend and was now at 45 months (as of 2013). We noted this back in 2013 when they first reported it for 2012. The article shows a nice chart with the increasing trend (well, ok 2012 and 2013 were flat, but way up over 2006).

Does this show, as they mention, that the CMO position is becoming more stable and better defined? Maybe. However, they also note that even at 45 months, the average tenure of the CMO is still only about half that of the average CEO. Maybe you better not get to relaxed … yet.

The CMO role is still the easiest position to replace when growth stalls. After all the job title suggests they might be to blame for a lack of growth. (The real job description may not, but most analysts don’t get into that level of detail.) Therefore, sacking them due to a lack of growth seems like the proper move on the part of the CEO. The CMO position is not really well understood by investors (or CEOs for that matter), so it’s unlikely they were considered a super-star C-level exec. Thus replacing them does not raise a red flag.

In fact, axing the CMO due to a lack of growth may be part of the reason CEOs have a longer tenure: new C-level exec to blame for a lack of company performance.

Might not be time to relax yet if you are a CMO.

How do you see it?


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