As a part of our investigative C-Suite miniseries, which takes a better take a look at and profiles the important thing senior management capabilities at hospitality corporations across the globe, AETHOS now makes an attempt to color a clearer image of the Chief Advertising Officer (CMO) position and the leaders who outline it.
To date, we’ve got profiled the altering roles, competency units and backgrounds of the Chief Business Officer, the Chief Human Sources Officer and the Chief Data Officer. Arguably, the CMO is one other essential piece of the puzzle – not but finishing, however definitely offering a way more complete image of the administration groups of hospitality organisations across the globe.
Profiling Right this moment’s CMO All through the Hospital Trade
AETHOS commenced by trying on the present or most up-to-date senior advertising and marketing executives sitting on the administration groups of the foremost hospitality corporations across the globe inside three subsegments of the {industry} – cruise, lodging and gaming. The choice was narrowed down to simply 5 globally famend organisations per section – to function representatives for the hiring practices of “best-in-class” hospitality organisations.
C-Suite Miniseries: The Hospitality CMO – A International Profile Of The Evolving Position

First issues first – What’s the perfect path to the highest? We investigated the executives’ academic background and their publicity to totally different {industry} segments. Opposite to what one would possibly count on, a significant in advertising and marketing isn’t what is required to succeed. As an alternative, a lot of the industrial leaders are true enterprise generalists. They’ve pursued research resembling enterprise economics or political science, or they majored in extremely specialised enterprise capabilities resembling accounting or engineering. With regards to the academic background of the CMOs, it seems, although, {that a} grasp’s diploma or MBA is “most popular,” with 60% of the executives holding such superior levels.
Wanting on the profession paths and the expertise gained in numerous {industry} segments or sectors, it turns into obvious that having beforehand labored within the hospitality (or journey) {industry} stays a key consider securing the highest advertising and marketing seat at any of the chosen hospitality organisations. As a result of many organisations hold reiterating their must “change up” their expertise pool and achieve “recent views” by recruiting from different sectors, it’s considerably of a shock that solely 4 out of the 15 chosen CMOs got here from outdoors the sector. The advertising and marketing perform must be one of many few roles through which better cross-industry publicity would make lots of sense. Executives from the retail sector, fast-paced shopper items (FMCG) or any consumer-driven {industry} must be well-equipped so as to add worth and new concepts to the hospitality {industry}. Sadly, solely Hilton Worldwide, Marriott Worldwide, MGM and Norwegian Cruise Line appear to have taken the plunge and the “threat” to go for an {industry} outsider. Arguably, although, some companies have a profitable observe file in recruiting from the FMCG or retail sector for different management capabilities inside their organisations (most notably Royal Caribbean).
We additionally checked out inside versus exterior recruits in addition to cross-border hires. In different phrases, have the CMOs beforehand labored with the organisation earlier than assuming their present perform and do they arrive from the identical areas as their firm headquarters? Or, do they share the identical cultural background? Firstly, it’s fascinating to notice that roughly one-third of the CMOs have beforehand been identified to, and have labored with, their present employers – albeit in a unique position. This contains, for instance, Michael Weaver at Wynn and Meg Lee at Norwegian Cruise Line, who each “auditioned” for the position having beforehand held an SVP/VP perform. Kevin Clayton at Galaxy Leisure returned to the organisation having beforehand labored with the corporate 5 years previous to his appointment as CMO. Secondly, considerably astonishingly (though a lot of the CMOs do deliver on board worldwide expertise), most CMOs share the identical cultural routes because the organisations they’re working with – with Claire Bennett at IHG being one of many few exceptions to the rule. In an {industry} that may actually be described as a global enterprise, not seeing extra cross-border hires is kind of exceptional.
The chosen peer group is thus portray a reasonably clear image. To achieve the highest and assume the CMO perform, executives are prone to be generalists and strategists, extremely educated and savvy because it pertains to all features of the enterprise, not simply their very own area. They’re additionally, at the very least up to now, extremely prone to be {industry} consultants – or insiders as some would possibly say. They’ll have grown up all through the ranks inside a hospitality and/or travel-related enterprise and confirmed their price inside a people- or service-driven organisation. Exceptions to the rule embody, for instance, Riccardo Casalino at MSC Cruises (who has a background with Proctor & Gamble), Karin Timpone at Marriott Worldwide (who brings on board lots of expertise within the media section with Disney and Common Studios), Kellyn Smith Kenny at Hilton Worldwide (who has labored with Uber and Microsoft) and Meg Lee at Norwegian Cruise Line (who has a background with Johnson & Johnson).
Coincidentally, did you discover that the final three named executives are all girls? In reality, 40% of our surveyed CMOs are feminine leaders. With regards to gender range, this isn’t a nasty place to be and it’s definitely a significantly better ration than for many different management roles inside the hospitality {industry}. Though each Claire Bennet (IHG) and Kellyn Smith Kenny (Hilton Worldwide) are comparatively new to their positions, they be a part of Kathy Mayor (Carnival Company), Meg Lee (Norwegian Cruise Line) and Karin Timpone (Marriott Worldwide) in spearheading the advertising and marketing capabilities at their respective organisations (be aware: Kathy Mayor has now assumed the Chief Digital Officer perform). The lodging {industry}, on- and off-shore, is thus the stand-out subsegment through which girls are on the forefront of business management, particularly preserving in thoughts that one other girl, Maud Bailly, is heading up the industrial division at Accor as Chief Digital Officer (in control of distribution, gross sales and data programs). It is a distinction to the gaming {industry}, the place, for the second half, the senior management group stays a “boys membership.” Lilian Tomovich at MGM is the one girl waving the gender range flag for the on line casino sector.

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