Average CMO length in the office is dropping, according to the recent CMO Tenure report by leadership consulting firm Spencer Stuart. The data revealed that a CMO “reign” in 2018 dropped to 43 months from 44 months in the previous year. To compare, an average CMO tenure in 2014 was the highest–48 months, and in 2006, it was as low as 23.2. 

The researchers looked at a total of 94 CMOs, 18 of which were new and found that the overall tenure average is stable. However, they do notice certain important shifts in 2018. 

Per the report, a very low 10 percent of chief marketing officers are minorities, which indicates a decline from 11 in 2017. They also found a decline in minority representation among new CMOs. In fact, none of the 18 new CMOs studied are minorities, compared with 6 of the 21 (29 percent) new CMOs in 2017. At the same time, 36 percent of all CMOs are women, which is a significant increase from 28 percent in 2017. 

More companies appear to be creating C-level marketing positions, as 16 of the 18 new CMOs, or 89 percent are the first at the company to hold the position. That contrasts with 12 of 21—57 percent — in 2017. And the number of chief marketing execs promoted internally is on its rise too, from 10 in 2017 to 13 in 2018. 

A consultant in the Spencer Stuart Marketing Officer Practice, Greg Welch, said on the matter, “There are encouraging signs in this year’s tenure study, particularly the increase in the number of women in this year’s freshman class, but considerably more needs to be done to bring more minority representation into the CMO ranks. The increase in first-time and internally promoted CMOs demonstrate that organizations are investing in developing the next generation of marketing leaders, presenting an opportunity to increase the pipeline of minorities in marketing leadership roles.”