New Excuse; Same Result

54938190 - businessman get success with red arrow on target at the back of his suit on dark background, business concept

If you take a look at the CMO category on this blog you will see that I have posted about the short tenure of “CMOs” for a while. It won’t take you long to see my point about why that is true: CMOs can be sacrificed when a c-Suite exec needs to be sacrificed without really messing anything up. The reasons are noted in the various posts.

The most recent research on this subject from Korn Ferry International notes the average tenure is up to 4.1 years and still the shortest of any c-Suite executive. The gist of the reason for short tenure, according to Korn Ferry is best summarized from this quote:

“Today’s customer-centric CMO role is exceptionally complex and requires the right balance of left as well as right brain skills, and very importantly, a differentiated set of leadership competencies,” said Caren Fleit, senior client partner and leader of Korn Ferry’s marketing center of expertise. “CMOs with this unique profile are in high demand and are often recruited to lead the next transformation. Also, in some cases, short tenure can be attributed to the organization not being well aligned behind the change that the CMO is tasked with leading.”

Sure if you like, but I stand by my premise that two things are true;

  1. The CMO is an undefined term and the real authority does not remotely match a “transformation” responsibility
  2. When the CEO needs to make a c-Suite move to satisfy the Board or investors, the CMO is the best sacrificial lamb.


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