Over the past 4-5 years the corporate world has seen a vast expansion in the C-suite. Back “in the day” most companies had a CEO and a CFO, and maybe a COO. Over time that increased. Currently, depending on the size and type of company, there are enough C-suite titles that might make your head spin:
CEO- chief executive officer
CFO- chief financial officer
COO- chief operations officer
CIO- chief information officer
CTO- chief technology officer
CMO- chief marketing officer
CRO- chief revenue officer
CSO- chief strategy officer
CRO- chief risk officer
CIO- chief investment officer
CEO- chief engineering officer
CDO- chief diversity officer
CCO- chief compliance officer
CLO- chief legal officer
CHRO- chief human resource officer
CIO- chief innovation officer
So there is no CSRO – chief shipping returns officer- that we know of. But maybe that is forthcoming?
Of course everyone WANTS to be in the C-suite; there are many reasons for that. For one, how about compensation? The average compensation for a Chief Operations Officer (COO) is $278,000/ year. Everyone with a “chief” in their title is making a lot of dollars; this is significant overhead for the company. I think the financial scrutiny on some of these roles is increasing.
Over the past 9-10 months in the tech sector, we have seen many layoffs and some companies folding up. I’ve seen many Sales Engineering Director/Manager roles evaporate, during this downturn. The position is seen as a luxury that the company cannot afford; some of these folks were then offered individual contributor positions.
In a similar vein, I do wonder and anticipate that some of these “non-essential” (??) “Chief” titles will be eliminated as part of wider cost-cutting actions by the company. Outside of the tech sector, in the broader economy, we have been talking about a recession for some time and most people anticipate a marked recession beginning sometime soon- later 2023. (Of course some believe it has already begun.)
Do some companies have too many chiefs? Too many cooks in the kitchen, but not enough waiters? Time will tell. Five years from now will we have 8-10 different C-suite roles in a typical medium-large company?
(This article was written by Ken Lambert, and does not fully represent NAASE as an Association.)