5 fascinating facts about the CMO50 2019

We present highlight statistics from our CMO50 of Australia's most innovative and effective marketing leaders

It’s been five years since CMO took the wrappers off our inaugural CMO50 of Australia’s most innovative and effective marketing leaders. And during that time we’ve seen a transformation of the modern marketing function and leadership remit.

The intention of the CMO50 is to highlight and celebrate the stellar work our marketing chiefs – and by extension, their whole marketing functions – are doing to drive growth and customer engagement in their organisations today. It’s about celebrating the discipline of marketing as a strategic business contributor, an essential part of the c-suite, and as a function delivering sustainable commercial outcomes.

As we celebrate the success of our 2019 CMO50 list of marketing chiefs, here are a few interesting facts about our fifth annual list and the state of modern marketing leadership.

1. Tenure plays a part in powerful leadership

It’s worth noting across the CMO50 this year, average tenure is again much higher than the industry average: 3 years 5 months. This year’s State of the CMO survey found the average is 2 years, 5 months, dropping year-on-year. And across the CMO50, company tenure is actually much longer: 5 years 6 months.

Yet there is still a huge amount of job switching and repositioning going on. And it’s disruptive.

Since we announced our 2018 edition of the CMO50, 18 of our 2018 honoraries have changed roles:

  • 2 internal promotions locally
  • 1 global promotion
  • 9 switching companies locally or taking up a role abroad;
  • 3 starting their own consulting ventures;
  • 1 gaining a CEO role at a not-for-profit;
  • 2 haven’t landed yet.
2. CMOs with influence report to the CEO

Across the 2019 list, 72 per cent of our individuals report directly to the CEO or managing director, a proximity allowing for much more impact and clout and contributing to longer tenure. Notably, in our recent State of the CMO research, marketing chiefs reporting directly to the CEO/MD also exhibited higher tenure than the average respondent.

In addition, 94 per cent of our CMO50 are members of the executive team, up 1 per cent year-on-year and 10 per cent in the last two years.

3. We’re still short of CMOs rising to CEO

One big discussion during CMO50 judging this year was whether judges were recognising the potential of marketing chiefs to become CEOs. And there was consensus CMO-to-CEO candidates are still a minority across executive ranks.

Given CMO now has five years of CMO50 data to work with, we went back and looked at how many of the CMO50 have progressed to CEO roles. More often than not, marketers are going to bigger and expanded CMO or customer roles, rather than divisional or company-wide leadership.

Across the CMO50 over the past 5 years, 11 individuals have risen to company-wide CEO, 3 of which are industry association positions. Three of these rose up within existing organisations:

  • Vittoria Shortt – former CMO of Commonwealth Bank; now CEO, ASB Bank
  • Barni Evans  – former CMO of Sportsbet; now Sportsbet CEO
  • Richard Burns  – former Aussie Home Loans GM customer experience and technology; now MD, Commsec
  • Kim Portrate – former CMO of Helloworld; now MD, Think TV
  • Kent Davidson – former marketing and sales chief at Mantra Group; now MD, Cross Hotels and Resorts Hong Kong
  • John Broome – former director of marketing at Kellogg; now CEO, AANA
  • Georgie Williams – former CMO, AustraliaSuper; then MD of Food and Wine Victoria; now non-executive board director
  • Rebecca James – former CMO, Prospa; now CEO, FlexiGroup
  • Andrea Martens – former chief brand officer, Jurlique; now CEO, ADMA
  • Cameron Pearson –  former director of growth, innovation and marketing of Cover-More Group: now MD, Virgil Assist
  • Tim Hodgson – former chief commercial and marketing officer, Invictus Games Sydney; now CEO, Gotcha4life Foundation

But yes, CMO to CEO stories are still fairly scarce.

4. Taking time to build impact makes a difference as a CMO

Across the CMO50 2019 list, nine of our top 10 this year have previously appeared in the CMO50 in their current positions, rising up the ranks to higher accolades this year.

It’s a figure recognising their perseverance, hard work and executive backing, as well as the sustained approaches these CMOs have built.

As many will attest, it takes time to build the credibility and executive trust to be able to do brave and bold work. The CMO50 continues to recognise this commitment to seeing things through and celebrates how these marketing leaders have built their way to impact, realising more innovation and effectiveness as a result.

5. Size doesn’t always matter

Across the 2019 CMO50 list, 90 per cent of marketing chiefs were overseeing teams of greater than 10 staff, and just over 60 per cent had at least 25 staff.

But it isn’t always the case size of team matters. CMO50 judges are meticulous in recognising CMOs from different industry categories, team sizes, B2C and B2B. Three of our top 25 this year have fewer than 15 staff, for example, and there’s a healthy mix of representatives from FMCG (11 per cent), retail and ecommerce (19 per cent), IT and telecommunications (11 per cent), insurance (9 per cent), Media and entertainment (9 per cent) and travel and tourism (9 per cent).

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: ABC's Leisa Bacon

In this episode of Conversations over a Cuppa with CMO, ABC's director of audiences, Leisa Bacon, shares how she's navigated the COVID-19 crisis, the milestones and adaptability it's ushered in, and what sustained lessons there are for marketers as we start to recover.

More Videos

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well. I just came across your website and I have to say that your work is really appreciative. Your conte...

Rochie Grey

Will 3D printing be good for retail?

Read more

Zero proof spiritsUsa since 2011 www.arkaybeverages.com🤪🤟

Sylvie

How this alcohol-free spirits brand rode the health and wellness wave

Read more

okay this a good newsmaybe i gonna try it

kenzopoker1

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 9 July 2020

Read more

Very insightful. Executive leaders can let middle managers decide on the best course of action for the business and once these plans are ...

Abi TCA

CMOs: Let middle managers lead radical innovation

Read more

One failing brand tying up with another failing brand!

Realist

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

Blog Posts

MYOD Dataset: Building a DAM

In my first article in this MYOD [Make Your Organisation Data-Driven] series, I articulated a one-line approach to successfully injecting data into your organisation’s DNA: Using a Dataset -> Skillset -> Mindset framework. This will take your people and processes on a journey to data actualisation.

Kshira Saagar

Group director of data science, Global Fashion Group

Business quiet? Now is the time to review your owned assets

For businesses and advertiser categories currently experiencing a slowdown in consumer activity, now is the optimal time to get started on projects that have been of high importance, but low urgency.

Olia Krivtchoun

CX discipline leader, Spark Foundry

Bottoms up: Lockdown lessons for an inverted marketing world

The effects of the coronavirus slammed the brakes on retail sales in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Fever-Tree’s Australia GM Andy Gaunt explains what they have learnt from some tricky months of trading

Andy Gaunt

General manager, Fever-Tree Australia and New Zealand

Sign in