The global pandemic had a major impact on the business landscape in 2021. Companies all over the world had to quickly pivot their business strategies and services to stay active and relevant. This major upset also had a significant impact on business leadership needs.
The C-suite spans approximately 58 job titles and covers everything from chief growth officer to chief financial officer. Holding one of these major business titles puts you at the head table where the most important business decisions are made for your organization.
The number of C-suite positions within a company depends on business size and industry. In the past, companies would support five traditional C-suite roles:
These roles are still important, but the recent pandemic has brought attention to other vital leadership roles.
Top 10 Executive Positions
Below are 10 executive positions that will be important for the future success and growth of your business in 2021 and post-pandemic.
A CEO has always been a fundamental role within a company, but the desired qualities and characteristics of the leader have changed. Resiliency is now a necessary quality as well as excellent communication skills. A resilient company leader will be more successful when navigating your company through uncertain times in business. The ability to clearly and effectively communicate through written and oral avenues will also ensure everyone is on the same page with company needs.
The CFO is more important now more than ever for many companies. An effective CFO will identify pivot points for new revenue streams and will also work to identify underperforming aspects of the business that could save your company money. Strong financial leaders are needed right now to help rebuild business models for a more profitable operation.
According to LinkedIn, chief diversity officer was the fastest growing C-suite title of 2020. The Black Lives Matter Movement along with a rise in social justice awareness opened many eyes to the inequality within business. Customers and employees alike began demanding more from organizations in terms of equality and diversity, which created a serious demand for CDOs. Diversity awareness and inclusion is still at the forefront of many peoples’ minds, so CDOs are another position that will be in high demand this year.
The CGO role was the next fastest growing C-suite role of 2020 under CDO. A majority of businesses experienced setbacks this last year, which is why they’re seeking CGOs for their executive teams. A CGO works across business channels, including sales and marketing, to drive organizational change that pushes for growth. The Chief Growth Officer is a combination of sales and marketing roles, frequently replacing a Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Revenue Officer and combining them into one position. With so many organizations struggling, it’s no wonder CGOs are in high demand.
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Uncertainty and major company changes can have a negative effect on employee job satisfaction and morale, which is why a CPO is essential for businesses right now. Employee wellness and support is important for retaining top talent. An experienced CPO will find a way to support employees and get them the resources they need to effectively complete their jobs.
Before the pandemic, a CPHO was not a particularly common C-suite role. The global pandemic, however, has placed a significant emphasis on health and safety of employees and customers. By having a CPHO on staff, companies can receive science-based advice on the best wellness and health practices for their businesses.
Similar to the CGO, a CRO is meant to push a company forward and improve revenue streams. A CRO does this by identifying new opportunities for the business as well as ensuring current client sales cycles are being properly optimized, among other important duties.
The 2020 year was witness to an unprecedented number of remote workers across all business sectors. The sudden need for remote capabilities made the CIO role within companies even more important. A functional IT department is imperative in 2021 as it doesn’t look like remote work is going away any time soon. Hiring a CIO can help bring your company up to speed on the latest technology and improve your overall business processes.
A major reason that companies didn’t allow remote work in the past is the fear of a dip in productivity. A VP of productivity and remote experience is a new role intended to keep employees engaged and productive with their work while they are remote. Maintaining a connection with workers during these unusual times will keep people accountable and establish a sense of community.
The VP of sales productivity typically works closely with the company CRO to drive sales. This VP sales position has been gaining momentum recently because of the major shift businesses are seeing in sales from in-person to online demands. The need for a broader sales operation has made the VP of sales productivity a strategic role for many businesses.
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