A survey by Spencer Stuart found that CMOs’ average tenure was 40 months.
That figure is the lowest in a decade. In 2018, the average CMO tenure was 43 versus 44 months in 2017.
Still, that figure is an improvement over the 23.6 months average tenure Spencer Stuart found in 2004.
The researcher reports that 71% of freshmen CMOs in 2021 were women, up from 52% in 2020.
Overall, just 15% of CMOs in 2021 were from a traditionally underrepresented racial or ethnic group. That’s up from 13% in 2020.
The number of women in CMO roles has been increasing for some time. In 2018, women made up 36% of CMOs, and in 2019, they made up 43%.
While the average tenure sat at 40 months, the median tenure at 28 months edged closer to the pre-pandemic 2019 level of 30 months.
In a sign that we may continue to see a more diverse group of CMOs, the survey this year showed that there was a spike in external hires compared to internal promotion. External hires increased to 45 % in 2021 from 37 % in 2020.
The average tenure of a CMO still pales in comparison with that of a CEO’s. A CEO’s average tenure is 85 months, more than twice the amount for CMOs.