Looking through recent articles online and seeing more and more large companies taking on marketers as their CEO, we wanted to dig a little deeper.
Recent surveys suggest that more and more marketers are now becoming part of the board or “C Suite” within larger companies. Data shows that 21% of FTSE 100 companies have marketers as their CEO’s, up from 11% in 2011. Which is quite considerable given the fact that a lot of large companies sway towards having someone with a financial background as their captain. But if you add in the Consumer & Health Care sectors then the figures jump to 40%, almost half of all FTSE 100 companies!
An article published in Marketing Week states that, over recent years, Tesco is perhaps the most high profile UK brand to employ a former marketer. In July 2014, it appointed former Unilever marketer Dave Lewis as its chief executive.
There are plenty more examples if you look hard enough, as shown below:
- Tesco marketing director Mike Coupe currently the CEO at Sainsbury’s.
- Nick Varney from Alton Towers, is the CEO at Merlin Entertainments.
- Carolyn McCall previously WACL, is now CEO of EasyJet.
It does seem that the UK is bucking the trend for marketers making it in the hot seat. Figures from Marketing Week show that compared to France (10%) and Germany (12%) the FTSE 100 companies in the UK really champion using Marketers as their CEO.
Hungryhouse recently appointed Alice Mrongovius as it’s CEO, to which she bases the decision down to having the “ownership mentality” instilled in her whilst working within marketing, as one of the reasons she felt she was well suited to operating as CEO.
Upon asking Mrongovius for her advice to other marketers who are keen to progress in her interview with MW. She explained: “Having a diverse background and understanding different parts of business is essential. If you work at a tech company, you don’t have to be a programmer but you need to understand how the digital architecture works. You then need to combine that diverse background with great people skills. The unifying factor, however, is entrepreneurship and implementing those skills within an organisation.”
So, it really does look like us marketers are starting to get the credit we deserve and are actually starting to get noticed right across the board and within a variety of industries. Having a wide array of business skills, strong understanding of handling budgets, the ability to dissect complex data and having the customer truly at the heart of what we do, goes to show that marketers are REALLY the best people to control and run businesses from the top.