Career path of Fortune-100 CCOs
Data: Axios research; Note: Three Fortune 100 companies do not have a CCO or equivalent; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals
Details: Axios investigation Observe: A few Fortune 100 organizations do not have a CCO or equal Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Chief communications officers (CCOs) are getting a moment as top executives lean on them for navigating crises, aligning workforce and endorsing and shielding the business or manufacturer.

Why it issues: You will find no 1 route to turning out to be a CCO — but the expertise are in higher need and are conveniently transferrable.

By the numbers: Of the Fortune 100 CCOs, roughly 62% were being promoted from within and 10% are lifers who have been with the firm through their full career.

  • 43% of CCOs commenced in the corporate entire world, followed by politics and authorities (24%), PR agencies (17%) and journalism (8%).

Indeed, but: While CCOs appear from assorted career backgrounds, they them selves are not notably assorted, in accordance to Bureau of Labor Figures facts gathered by Zippia.

Knowledge: Zippa Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Zoom in: Woman illustration has enhanced about a person proportion level for every yr — from about 30% in 2011 to 40% in 2021.

  • Three-quarters of CCOs are white, even though 9% are Hispanic/Latino, 6% are Black/African American, 5% are Asian and fewer than 1% establish as American Indian and Alaska Indigenous.
  • The regular age is 42 many years old, with 55% slipping in the 40+ age range, 33% in their 30s and about 12% in their 20s.

What they’re stating: The job of communicators is frequently misunderstood. According to Microsoft CCO Frank Shaw, communicators are accountable for talking out, convening and then negotiating for the proper consequence.

  • “Our work is to seem broadly across the industries we are in and offer a unified see so that we are not earning selections in a vacuum,” suggests Shaw.

  • Yes, but: A few businesses within just the best 100 — Berkshire Hathaway, Tesla and Business Solutions — nonetheless do not have a head of comms.

What we are observing: Chief communicators might capitalize on this second and soar into the CEO pipeline — which is usually reserved for heads of operations or finance.

  • Communicators can also seize the instant to snag a spot in the boardroom. Only 16 CCOs presently sit on Fortune 500 boards, according to Spencer Stuart study.

The base line: Communications is now arguably the most crucial ability for any chief of any organization, huge or small … and heads of comms are as important as the COO or CFO, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei writes.

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