News: CMO, chief communications officer and chief growth officer among the fastest growing c-suite roles in the UK, says LinkedIn

New data from LinkedIn reveals the top 10 fastest growing c-suite roles in the UK when compared to the previous year as companies hired executives to help navigate the global pandemic and drive business performance. 

The UK’s top 10 fastest growing c-suite roles: 

1. Chief human resources officer. Responsible for developing and executing human resource strategy in relation to the overall business plan, the chief human resources officer (CHRO) share of hires grew by 56% over the past year. Working hand-in-glove with the CEO, CHROs guided their organisations through the pandemic, manoeuvring talent as many businesses were forced to adapt, and worked through the intricacies of the furlough scheme. Now they are playing a crucial role in defining their future of work policies and processes. 

2. Chief revenue officer. In charge of a company’s revenue streams and accountable for driving integration and alignment between all revenue-related functions, the chief revenue officer helped businesses navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic and find new ways to drive profitability and growth. LinkedIn’s data highlights that demand for executives in this role increased by 48%. 

3. Chief people officer. With many businesses rethinking what the future of work looks like, chief people officers are at the heart of this organisational change advising on people, culture and workplace strategies. Demand for chief people officers has risen by 45%, as companies have become more cognisant of the health and wellbeing of their employees.

4. Chief communications officer. Responsible for corporate reputation, building trust and everything an organisation communicates internally and externally to a myriad of stakeholders (including employees, shareholders, media, investors and industry bodies) chief communications officer hires grew by 35% over the past year. 

5. Chief growth officer. Blending the expertise of marketing, sales, product development and finance, the chief growth officer helps businesses achieve their strategic objectives. As companies consider new avenues to growth, Chief growth officer hires have increased by 33%. 

6. Chief innovation officer. Focused on managing the process of innovation in an organisation and working to originate new ideas, chief innovation officer roles grew by 31%. 

7. Chief product officer. Chief product officer roles have increased by 29% as company’s focus on bolstering product strategy, developing new products and enhancing customer experience to stay ahead of the competition. 

8. Chief sales officer. Responsible for leading a company’s sales function to meet revenue and growth targets, chief sales officer roles increased by 29%.

9. Chief compliance officer. Tasked with designing, implementing and monitoring compliance processes to ensure businesses are compliant with laws and regulations, chief compliance officer roles grew by 28%. 

10. CMO. Focused on building brands, creating awareness of products and services and delivering value to customers and clients, the CMO role grew by 22% over the past year. 

With people and businesses adapting to new ways of working due to COVID-19, LinkedIn noted a 55% increase in time spent by leaders taking LinkedIn Learning courses globally over the past 12 months, compared to the previous year. Leaders across the world tuned into 1.3 million hours of learning courses on topics such as building executive presence, resilience, critical thinking and coaching to help improve their essential soft skills at a time when they needed them the most. 

Tunji Akintokun, senior director, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions UK and Ireland, said: “This list provides a unique insight into how business priorities are changing, and the c-suite roles needed most to help companies adapt to a new world of work. As companies focus on delivering value to customers and clients, differentiating their brands and driving business growth, it’s positive to see CMOs, chief growth officers and chief communications officers in high demand. This is testament to the highly strategic and increasingly impactful role they play in building brand awareness, safeguarding reputation, and creating demand to drive growth.”

Gary Bramall, CMO, Zoopla, said: “The role of marketing has proved transformational over the past decade. Very few companies can now get ahead without the highest calibre of marketing expertise at the helm. And it’s a widely held belief that companies who divest in marketing in times of economic challenge, such as those brought about by the pandemic, quickly lose their stronghold. But it’s not just about hiring the best possible CMO - it’s about investing in a business’s marketing function at all levels, bringing in diversity of talent, and shoring up the pipeline of future marketing leaders accordingly.

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