According to leaders in the executive recruiting industry, demand for chief digital officers is currently far greater than supply. Also, there are many different ways in which the role is defined and setup at different companies often generating confusion and in some cases suboptimal results. To foster success, CEOs and Board members embarking in a new digital transformation journey should partner with a digital transformation officer and put thoughtful considerations on how to define the right profile, setup the role, and structure his or her compensation.
The Chief Digital Officer is not only a digital guru but also a seasoned general manager. He or she should have experience running a P&L and also change management experience either in turnaround or fast-growth situations.
In a company aiming to accelerate value creation, a chief digital officer needs to have the ability to lead transformation across the organization and a combination of hard and soft skills:
Today's CDOs' varied backgrounds suggest a misalignment between the objective of the hiring company and the actual talent and expectations attached to their role.
After two decades of the Internet there is a reasonable cadre of mid-level digital managers with product, technology, or marketing backgounds. However, there are relatively few senior general managers who have worked across functions or have had extensive Board experience.
In order to setup the new digital transformation officer role for success, CEOs and Board members should consider the following best practices:
Many CDOs I know are stuck between marketing and IT, building business cases or writing requirements with no authority to actually build or change anything.