Marketing bosses should become a firm’s next chief executive, says management consultant

MiloshCompanies should look no further than the chief marketing officer as the next leader of the business when they sit down to discuss succession planning, according to management consultancy McKinsey and Company.

Such is the importance of the CMO role, and the “pervasive” impact marketing has across the entire business, it makes perfect sense for a company to turn to its marketing chief to become the next chief executive, McKinsey partner Milosh Milisavljevic said.

He told business leaders at the Association of Data Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) conference in Sydney yesterday: “Your next CEO should be your CMO. The basis of this is that organisations are much more customer and market orientated. And if we say that the landscape in which organisations operate is more dynamic and fast moving…then who better to lead the organisation through this time than the CMO.”

Milisavljevic also told CMOs to “buddy up” with their CEOs and urge them to become “active marketers” while exerting their own influence on the business.

“Sit at the executive table, become part of the executive team and become directly involved in strategic decisions,” Milisavljevic said.

“Buddying up with your CEO is an imperative and this is once again thinking about the shifting role of marketing, about it being much more pervasive across the organisation.

“CMO’s should also become the ‘bonding agent’ that connects the organisation which is particularly critical for the concept of cross  channel experience and cross function experience. The CMO is one of the, if not the logical person to be that bonding agent.”

Steve Jones



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