An increasing number of CEOs are questioning whether Marketing as a single department under a CMO even makes sense. Here’s why.

Spare a thought for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO); they may be an endangered species. Recently, Lululemon, Virgin Group, Coca Cola, Gymshark, Graze, Huawei, Bed Bath & Beyond and Telstra have all dispensed with the C-suite Marketing role, either pushing marketing down the ranks and closer to local business frontlines, or supplanting the function entirely under new C-level titles such as CBO (Brand) CRO (Revenue), CXO (Experience). Current CMOs have the lowest life expectancy of any C-suite role according to CEO Magazine; a shade over 4 years. Two CEOs I know have recently dropped marketing leaders from their top teams…


Mark Melford. Managing Director at Captive Strategic Leadership.

More and more firms are embracing radical new approaches to organisation design centred around networks of “high autonomy” teams. It sounds great, but in practice is very hard to do. Why have some firms’ attempts led to confusion and mass departures, while others become exemplars? Here are eight things the world’s top companies do promote high-autonomy working among staff.

Times are changing. Around the world hierarchies are flattening or disappearing and new, exotic forms of organisation are appearing. Spotify calls them Squads, Zappos, an online retailer, calls them Circles but at more and more firms, staff are working in autonomous…


Image CSL, HBR

The ascendency of millennials in the workforce, coupled with the coming of age of digital-only giants like Spotify and Facebook, has upended long held management theories about the organisation of work.

In March 2014 Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, a hugely successful Las Vegas-based footwear firm, stood in front of his staff and made a shocking announcement. The company’s org chart, he proclaimed, along with the roles of its top 150 managers were to be abolished. In its place, a network of ‘circles’ and ‘role marketplaces’, more akin to the darwinian ‘un-structure’ of a city than a company, would allow…

Mark Melford

Founder of Captive Strategic Leadership, a strategy and organisation design consultancy supporting founders to build the value of their firms. @markmelford

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