Thursday, June 20th, 2019 | 6 min read
More often than not, career paths take some unexpected turns. This is especially true when it comes to some of the top Chief Marketing Officers in the world.
While many CMOs get their start in some marketing capacity, others took fascinatingly circuitous routes to the C-Suite.
In The World’s Most Influential CMOs 2019 report – which Sprinklr produced in partnership with Forbes and LinkedIn – there are a number of CMOs who didn’t follow the dotted line on their way to the CMO role. Here are a few examples we were inspired by (in no particular order):
Alicia Hatch got her start as a program manager for a World Health Organization (WHO)-sponsored initiative to better diagnose and treat a rare disease found only in remote areas of West Africa.
She worked alongside researchers, community health educators, and surgeons to dispel myths and help people better understand the illness so they could work together toward a breakthrough.
This experience helped her understand the importance of building trust with audiences and understanding their motivations. It eventually led her to Microsoft, where she was Senior Business Development Manager for the Halo Xbox franchise, and later to Banyon Branch, where she rose to principal and SVP of Business Development. Ultimately, these experiences brought her to Deloitte Digital, where she’s entered the next phase of her career as a CMO.
“Taking that non-traditional path served me well, forcing me to find comfort in situations where I didn’t always know the answer,” Hatch wrote in a Time feature. “Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is ultimately how I ended up in my role at Deloitte Digital as the company’s chief marketing officer.”
The average person changes jobs about 12 times during his or her career, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In China, job hopping is even more common, with the average length of service at each company hovering around 34 months, compared to 56 average months in the U.S. William Xu bucks the trend, having spent his entire career moving up the ranks at Huawei.
Starting out in Research & Development, Xu helped develop Huawei’s first generation of public program controlled switches. He further put his master’s degree in electrical engineering to use by researching new chip advancements and other technologies at the company.
Xu’s efforts led to his promotions as Head of R&D, President of the International Technical Sales & Marketing Department, President of the European Area, and other senior-level positions before being named Chief Strategy Marketing Officer. Having a true, technical understanding of Huawei’s products and applications allows him to position them for success in the market.
Magali Noé is an actuary. That doesn’t mean she can’t be a Chief Digital Officer, too.
After getting her start as an actuary with Caisse d’Epargne group, she moved into the company’s marketing department, where she found her niche. Over the years, Noé honed her creative skills before bringing them to CNP Assurances, where she headed up the company’s digital transformation effort.
In her current role, Noé also supervises Youse Europe, which gives renters a way to guarantee payments to obtain a lease, as well as the Innovation Services division, and Open CNP, which partners investors with startups.
Noé also promotes diversity and gender equality in business as a member of Women Corporate Directors, Actu’Elles and Alter Égales.
Joanne Bradford has held nearly every C-level position imaginable.
During her time at Microsoft in the early 2000s, she served as Chief Revenue Officer – Online, helping to grow revenue from $100 million to $2 billion. She continued on the path of fiscal responsibility as Senior Vice President of Revenue and Market Development at Yahoo!, and Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer at Demand Media.
From there, she stepped up as President of the San Francisco Chronicle before joining a number of corporate boards. She also had a leading role at Pinterest as Head of Partnerships and as an Advisor.
At SoFi, Bradford was initially hired as Chief Operating Officer before making the switch to Chief Marketing officer in 2017. While she recently left the position, she continues her relationship with SoFi as an Advisor.
“The interesting thing with people is that they’re very challenged to change things,” she said on an episode of Girlboss Radio. “As much as people want to change things in their life; actually, doing it is very difficult.” Clearly, Bradford is up for the challenge.
For professionals of all levels, and in all industries, these examples show that it’s never too late to make a career change. You may be presented with opportunities that don’t necessarily follow the path you planned; ultimately, it’s your choice whether or not to take the chance, as these leaders have.
And for ambitious marketers who hope to lead the department one day, these CMOs also show the value of diversifying your skills. Many business leaders have a wealth of seemingly unrelated experiences under their belts, and they often play a role in their successes later on. Get to know the industries you serve, and feel free to branch out into different subjects, too.
It just might land you in the C-Suite.
Ce site web utilise des cookies pour vous vous assurer une expérience de navigation optimale.OK En Savoir Plus
Diese Internetseite verwendet Cookies, damit Sie die Funktionen der Website optimal nutzen können.OK Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier
Este sitio web usa cookies para asegurarnos que usted reciba la mejor experiencia en nuestro sitio web.OK Aprenda más