The Fastest-Growing C-Suite Roles in 2023 | Executive Recruiters

      The Fastest-Growing C-Suite Roles in 2023

      LinkedIn recently posted some interesting data on the C-suite roles that are growing most rapidly. The list wasn’t full of the usual suspects, like CEOs or CFOs.

      Instead, the C-suite position with the highest growth was chief diversity and inclusion officer, with an astounding 168.9% increase in hires.

      Here are the top 10 C-suite positions over the past four years:

      1. Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
      2. Chief Delivery Officer
      3. Chief People Officer
      4. Chief Growth Officer
      5. Chief Revenue Officer
      6. Chief Legal Officer
      7. Chief Program Officer
      8. Chief Commercial Officer
      9. Chief Underwriting Officer
      10. Chief Human Resources Officer

      Let’s take a closer look at each of these roles, why they have become prominent in C-suites (across nearly every industry), and what that means for the future of executive recruitment.

      Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer — 168.9%

      The chief diversity and inclusion officer oversees a company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts. Typically, they’ll manage diverse hiring and promotion and implement training policies to improve employee awareness about diversity in the workplace.

      A chief diversity and inclusion officer can help companies develop fair pay and promotion policies, ensuring that the company complies with various EEOC regulations. Many companies seek chief diversity and inclusion officers to ensure their workers feel comfortable in the workplace regardless of their background or ethnicity.

      Chief Delivery Officer — 165.6%

      Tech companies specializing in software typically hire a chief delivery officer to oversee product implementation and delivery for business and consumer clients. The chief delivery officer will work with IT developers and engineers to streamline the installation of the company’s products, helping avoid any hiccups for their customers.

      In some cases, chief delivery officers can help oversee supply chain management, a significant problem for many companies following COVID-19. They’ll ensure their vendors can provide materials necessary for production on time and lead the search for supporting vendors if they encounter any material shortages.

      Chief People Officer — 144.3%

      A chief people officer can act as a liaison between your HR department and the CEO, helping fill in any gaps your CHRO isn’t responsible for, like developing a long-term strategy for attracting top-tier talent. Ideally, a chief people officer will identify ways to revitalize your workplace culture by implementing new benefit options or activities.

      Typically, the chief people officer is responsible for developing a comprehensive compensation plan for your employees. They’ll identify which roles are most in demand and ensure that these employees receive fair pay so they don’t look for other opportunities. 

      A chief people officer can also implement a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy — especially if you don’t have a chief diversity and inclusion officer.

      Chief Growth Officer — 117.5%

      A chief growth officer’s responsibilities typically overlap those of a chief revenue officer. They’re in charge of ensuring the company continues to expand revenue by attracting new customers and retaining the existing ones. 

      Chief growth officers have a long-term outlook; they’re aiming to achieve specific sales goals not for the next quarter but for five years in the future.

      A chief growth officer is helpful for organizations that plan to expand their operations to new markets or introduce a new product line. An employee in this role can ensure smooth processes and collaborate with appropriate stakeholders in the company.

      Chief Revenue Officer — 76.3%

      If your company struggles to retain customers or make headway with new products, you’d likely benefit from a chief revenue officer’s help. A chief revenue officer strives to meet specific sales goals for each product and service line. They’ll oversee the sales team, helping them develop strategies to attract new clients.

      A chief revenue officer can also collaborate with your marketing and customer service departments, ensuring that clients receive favorable end-to-end treatment from the time they first learn of the company through the post-purchase process.

      A chief legal officer typically oversees all organizational compliance and legal issues. Their objective is to protect the company from potential legal problems. A chief legal officer can provide senior leadership and give the board of directors legal advice concerning all aspects of the organization, including its products, operations, and other issues.

      Having a chief legal officer on board is especially helpful for larger organizations and public companies, which often need in-house counsel to advise them.

      Chief Program Officer — 60.3%

      Chief program officers manage specific projects and initiatives. They can help with the short- and long-term programs the company implements. 

      A chief program officer doesn’t have specific oversight of a particular department; instead, they collaborate with various organizational stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working toward achieving the project goals.

      Chief Commercial Officer — 60.3%

      A chief commercial officer typically oversees new sales initiatives and strategies. For instance, if you’re planning to serve a new market, the chief commercial officer could partner with your sales team to create effective sales strategies that bring in new clients.

      If you don’t have a chief sales officer or a VP of sales with extensive experience in long-term sales strategies, a chief commercial officer may be beneficial, especially if you’re expanding your service or product lines.

      Chief Underwriting Officer — 53.2%

      Financial services or insurance companies may benefit from a chief underwriting officer. Typically, a chief underwriting officer is responsible for mitigating risk in the underwriting process. They’ll ensure their underwriting team adheres to strict protocols when accepting new loans or policies.

      Startups new to the underwriting process can use the advice of an experienced chief underwriting officer. They’ll make sure the fledgling company doesn’t take on too much risk early on, which can harm the organization’s success.

      Chief Human Resources Officer — 50.1%

      The chief human resources officer is perhaps the most well-known of all the C-level positions on the LinkedIn list. Companies seeking to hire a chief human resources officer may require their skills in managing diversity, compensation, hiring, and benefits.

      A chief human resources officer’s responsibilities can be similar to those of a chief people officer or a chief diversity and inclusion officer.

      Organizations too small to need all three C-level positions usually benefit from a chief human resources officer who can oversee multiple areas. 

      Choosing a C-Level Position Starts with the Company’s Needs

      Typically, companies hire executives for areas that need the most assistance. While all organizations require a CEO and a CFO, companies can select other senior leaders according to their unique requirements. 

      LinkedIn’s list of the highest growth rates of executive positions provides some striking insights into what companies are looking for in today’s operating environment.

      National Executive Search Firm | How We Help


      Our hands-on executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and include vice presidentgeneral counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

      Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, we find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technologyhealthcaremanufacturingretailreal estatefinancial serviceprivate equity, and more.

      Learn how we deliver top talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy that made Cowen Partners the top retained executive search firm in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and beyond.

      Get in Touch.

      Fill out the email request form to learn more about our approach.

        [honeypot website]