“Chief Digital Officers are next in line to run the show,” said CDO Club founder David Mathison. “If they’re successful in turning an incumbent company around, and bringing it into the digital age, they may be next in line.”
As more Chief Digital Officers (CDO’s) became CEO’s last year than ever before, it has become increasingly clear that the CDO title can be a launchpad to CEO.
In 2013, seven Chief Digital Officers became CEO or President of their companies in 2013 and four became board directors, according to research conducted by the CDO Club and presented in David Mathison’s CDO Talent Map 2014 at the second annual CDO Summit held at the Time Warner Conference Center in New York City on April 22.
This figure is all the more impressive when one considers that there are only about 800 Chief Digital Officers globally to date.
The CDO Talent Map 2014 offers a few more telling statistics that give a clearer perspective on this new, trendsetting career path:
- More than 60% of Chief Digital Officers in the Advertising sector had previous experience as CEO, President, GM, or Executive Director.
- More than 30% of Chief Digital Officers in the Media sector had previous experience as CEO, President, GM, or Executive Director.
Combined with the fact that, globally, Chief Digital Officers were predominantly represented in the Advertising and Media sectors (at 36% and 18%, respectively), aspiring CDO’s can look to these already “mature” sectors for reliable indicators on how the CDO to CEO transition can (and will) occur in sectors new to the CDO game—such as Retail, CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), Sports, Luxury, and Food and Beverage.
That’s why the CDO Club gathered several top executives from the Advertising industry for its panel discussing career strategies for Chief Digital Officers seeking to make the jump to CEO, at the 2014 CDO Summit at Time Warner in New York City.
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