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New survey of the first generation of CDOs shows they have aspirations for the corner office

Egon Zehnder’s new survey of Chief Digital Officers paints an ambitious future for the first generation of emerging creative leaders. The study taps into the mindset of 107 digital executives in global industries, providing key insights into the roles they aspire to take on. Most notably, the role of CEO. “It makes sense if you take a step back, because these are very strategic leaders, they’ve got high engagement with others, they’re almost entrepreneurs, evangelizing and such,” says Lindsay Trout, global digital practice leader at Egon Zehnder, who helped lead up the survey.“They have a broad purview of responsibility and influence across functions.” Trout says that because general managers now have less mobility across functional lines, companies have begun to gravitate toward transformative, tech-forward leaders.


Although an industry lead entirely by specialists may not be in our near future, the digital-first perspective of CDOs proves compelling across hiring processes, supply chain policies and customer data experience. This will ultimately prepare a digital executive for more senior leadership roles. This insight has already cultivated itself in the business world. Just last year Adam Brotman, the CDO who spearheaded Starbucks’ digital transformation, was offered the CEO position at the restaurant technology provider eatsa, following a co-CEO position at major retailer J. Crew.



Full story: Ericka Chickowski: “New survey of the first generation of CDOs shows they have aspirations for the corner office” in (11 June 2019).

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