CMOs the Shortest Tenured Professionals, Study Finds
Chief marketing officers are the shortest-tenured C-suite professionals, at least according to a recently released report from people and organizational advisory firm Korn Ferry. By contrast, CEOs are the longest-tenured C-suite professionals.
The report featured data from a survey conducted by the Korn Ferry Institute of the top 1,000 U.S. companies by revenue. The survey was conducted last year. The study examines the age and tenure of individuals holding C-suite titles (CEO, CFO, CHRO, CMO, CIO), and is broken down by industry.
The average tenure for a C-suite member is 5.3 years. However, the average CMO tenure is 4.1 years. The longest average CMO tenure is in the financial services industry at 5.1 years. Life sciences CMOs stay, on average, a full two years less at 3.1 years. The average CMO in the consumer industry stays with their employer for 3.6 years.
“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, in a company press release announcing the findings of the survey. “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.”
As for CEOs, the average tenure is eight years. Those in financial services have the longest tenure, 9.7 years, and those in energy have the shortest tenure, 6.1 years.
CFOs are the next longest-tenured C-suite member with an average of 5.1 years on the job, with the longest-tenured CFOs in the life sciences industry at average of six years, and the shortest-tenured CFOs in the technology and industrial sectors at an average of 4.9 years.