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The C-suite is growing in size

With the creation of new, specialist senior roles, C-suites are growing in size. How much more complex is this making companies to navigate? And what pressure is it placing on the CEO in terms of direct reports?

As companies strive to stay competitive in the face of rapid innovation and technology change, some roles are being divided between two or even three executives. In the last decade data has been a good example of this, carving out its own, dedicated niche(s). As environmental considerations become the priority for many businesses, the role of Chief Sustainability Officer has been created from what previously may have been the domain of Corporate Affairs or even the Chief Marketing Officer’s remit.

I noticed that Stephen Bartlett’s team at Diary of A CEO, had created a Head of Failure to ‘out-fail the competition’ and rapidly increase his team’s rate of feedback and experimentation to stay ahead of the competition. This may be taking it to extremes for most companies but I understand the sentiment.

More conventionally, in the retail sector, Lidl UK has just created the new role of Chief Customer Officer which will look at optimising customer experience and be mainly responsible for marketing, promotions, customer insights and CRM.

The key to any business creating new roles is this:

◾️ Make sure the company is very clear on the remit – especially if the new role used to be part of someone else’s job
◾️ What is success in this new role going to look like and how will you measure it?
◾️ If this role doesn’t exist elsewhere in the market, how are you going to find this person? What are the top three things you need?
◾️How aligned is the wider business on the need for this new role?

What are your experiences on the early success rates of newly created roles?


About BartonRock: BartonRock is the executive search partner for high-growth consumer and retail businesses

We manage the careers of executives whose know-how and commercial acumen steer the strategic direction for companies to thrive.

Our assignments search for executives who understand how to operate in dynamic and entrepreneurial environments.

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