12 Emerging C-Level Positions

On business cards  and on LinkedIn profiles too, business titles are the epicenter of the corporate ladder of power and professional recognition.

When new business titles emerge, they are likely to be much more than mere semantics. More commonly, they reveal deeper shifts in corporate strategies and directions.

We have observed that 12 C-level roles nearly non-existent a mere three years ago are now reporting to over 500 CEOs of medium and large companies around the world.

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Those 12 emerging titles unveil how executives’ priorities are shifting in our digital revolution and may even offer you a few hints for upgrading your own business card!

Detect, Develop & Delight

    #1 VP Data
    #2 VP Revenue
    #3 VP Growth
    #4 VP Customer Success
Emerging Customer Titles
Their Relative Presence in N-1 or N-2 to the CEOs

1. VP Data 
or Chief Data Officer have been popularized by corporate giants like IBM, Google and Amazon. As data increasingly becomes the fuel for insight on customers, company efficiency and financial optimization, these executives are emerging across all industries. 53% of the VPs of Data we have identified report to the CEO.

The VP Data collects, organizes and stores data. With the exponentially growing volume, data selection, data verification and data governance, these positions have become increasingly necessary. Their success is measured by the data usage across the companies and with the insights that analytics and algorithms reveal.

    · HSBC (Banking), Group Chief Data Officer;
    · PSA Group (Automotive), Chief Data Officer;
    · Kimberly Clark (Household Products), Chief Data Officer.

   What is new?
    · VP Analytics centers more on analysis, dashboards and insights;
    · VP Cloud centers more on scalability, performance and applications;
    · VP Data Science focuses more on data structure, analytics and algorithms.

2. VP Revenue executives have become ubiquitous in airlines, hotels and telecommunication sectors where their real-time price management drives the sales of their inventories of rooms, seats or networks. We now see them popping up in most industries including the media, consumer goods and utilities sectors. 54% of the VPs of Revenue we have identified report to the CEO.

VPs Revenue couple their market environment understanding with analytics and algorithms to match their inventories with their customers’ appetites. Their success is measured by the revenue and profits they generate.

  · American Airlines (Airlines), Senior Vice President, Revenue Management;
  · Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palace (Hotels), Chief Revenue Officer;
  · Telefonica Brazil (Telecommunications), Chief Revenue Officer.

  What is new?
  · VP Pricing centers more on pricing, competitiveness and profit;
  · VP Sales centers more on prospects, customers and closing;
  · VP Product centers more on customer expectations and product features.

3. VP Growth are popping up in many companies inclined to pursue fast-growing opportunities. The momentum is such that 76% of the VP of Growth we have identified report to the CEO.

The VP Growth is at the forefront of promoting groundbreaking products and services, evangelizing prospects and signing new customers. Their success is measured on their signed contracts and the revenue that they generate during the first years of their efforts.

  · Coca-Cola (Beverages), Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer;
  · eBay (Retail), Head of Global Growth;
  · Microsoft (Software), General Manager, Growth Initiatives.

  What is new?
  · VP Business Development centers more on early stage, prospects and partner;
  · VP Engagement centers more on developing prospects;
  · VP Key Accounts centers more on large customers.

4. VP Customer Success are mostly emerging in BtoB software companies. Because of the growing role of software in many industries, these roles should ultimately expand across all industries. 68% of the VP Customer Success executives we have located report to the CEO.

VPs Customer Success advise current customers on ways to better benefit from product features and to extract value from their growing product usage. Their success is measured on their contribution to revenue growth and on their contract renewals.

  · Amazon Business (Retail), Head of Customer Success;
  · Hubspot (Advertising/Marketing), Vice President of Customer Success;
  · Tableau (Software), Global Vice President of Customer Success.

  What is new?
  · VP Customer Support centers more on hot line, installation and maintenance;
  · VP Customer Satisfaction centers more on feedbacks, assistance and returns;
  · VP Services centers more on delivering complementary, professional services.

Adapt, Access and Accelerate

            #1 VP Digital
             #2 VP Innovation
             #3 VP Transformation
            #4 VP Venture
Emerging Corporate Titles
Their Relative Presence in N-1 or N-2 to the CEOs

5. VP Digital Within the past three years, the VP Digital role has become the fastest emerging C-Level title in our organizational charts. Given the breadth of corporate digital initiatives, the position’s mission differs significantly from one company to another. 49% of VP Digital executives we identified report to the CEO.

The VP Digital is usually responsible for developing revenue from corporate digital channels, managing the company’s presence in social media and assisting each function in exploring and embracing digital potential.

  · LVMH (Luxury Goods), Chief Digital Officer;
  · Novartis (Pharmaceuticals), Chief Digital Officer;
  · Rolls-Royce Group (Aerospace), Chief Digital Officer.

  What is new?
  · VP eCommerce centers more on channels, catalogs and revenue;
  · VP Marketing centers more on product, pricing and communication;
  · VP Communication centers more on brand, advertising and media.

6. VP Innovation executives foster momentum around innovation to position their company ahead of its competitors. Most of these roles appear in more mature companies. 70% of the VPs Innovation executives that we identified report to the CEO.

VPs of Innovation drive major initiatives, coach departmental innovations, share best practices internally and explore and sometimes manage partnerships with startups.

  · Axa (Insurance), Chief Innovation Officer;
  · Coca-Cola (Beverages), Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer;
  · BM (Information Technology & Services), Chief Innovation Officer.

  What is new?
  · VP R&D centers more on lab works and engineering;
  · VP Science centers more on fundamental research;
  · VP Technology centers more on digital, electronics and software.

7. VP Transformation When their respective markets are changing rapidly, companies must also respond rapidly. These organizational changes and responses are increasingly coordinated by VPs of Transformation. 63% of the VPs of Transformation that we identified report to the CEO.

The VP Transformation is the project manager responsible for orchestrating the changes within the executive committee. The success of these executives is measured by the company’s engagement and the associated impact.

  · Unilever (Household Products), Chief Transformation Officer;
  · UPS (Package/Freight Delivery), Chief Transformation Officer;
  · Zurich Insurance Group (Insurance), Group Chief Transformation Officer.

  What is new?
  · VP Organization centers more on process, risks and mapping;
  · VP Projects centers more on programs, budgets and planning;
  · VP Strategy centers more on customer, competition and financials.

8. VP Venture To accelerate innovation, corporations often acquire promising startups just as the automotive industry has been doing recently in their acquisition of self-driving technology companies. 66% of the VPs of Venture executives that we identified report to the CEO.

VPs Venture executives partner with venture capital funds to target the technologies that should be developed and ultimately assess and participate in the decisions to acquire the most promising companies. Sometimes, VC Venture executives will set up a company-owned venture fund to directly invest in promising startups. 

  · Abbott (Pharmaceuticals), Executive Vice President, Ventures;
  · Lulemon Athletica (Apparel), General Manager, Venture;
  · QVC (Retail), President of New Ventures.

  What is new?
  · VP M&A centers more on acquisitions providing synergies and market coverage;
  · VP Corporate Development centers more on acquisitions and partnerships;
  · VP Intellectual Property centers more on the management of rights and brands.

Support, Sustain & Subdue

           #1 VP Regulation
           #2 VP Talent
           #3 VP Information Security
           #4 VP Culture
Emerging Asset Management Titles
Their Relative Presence in N-1 or N-2 to the CEOs

9. VP Regulation Many industries such as banking, healthcare, transportation or energy are more highly regulated than ever. This sensitive executive role is increasingly prevalent in most industries. 75% of the VPs of Regulation that we identified report to the CEO.

VPs of Regulation ensure that the company complies with the intricate regulations of its industries and that the company’s voice and influence is heard and felt in its jurisdictional regulatory bodies. The position also commonly manages bidding processes when applicable in competitive bidding or license applications managed by overseeing regulatory agencies and departments.

  · JPMorgan Chase (Banking): Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer;
  · MidAmerican Energy (Utilities): Vice President, Regulation;
  · TurkCell (Telecommunications): Executive Vice President, Legal and Regulation.

  What is new?
  · VP Legal centers more on contracts, intellectual property and litigations;
  · VP Compliance centers more on audit, conformity and risk;
  · VP Public Affairs centers more government relations and lobbying.

10. VP Talent When an industry’s market environment changes dramatically as often happens, having great, adaptable colleagues remain a company’s most sustainable permanent asset. This is the reason why most VCs commonly value the founding team equally or even more substantially to the project or market in which they are investing. 47% of VP Talent executives that we have identified report to the CEO.

VP Talent executives engage a firm’s employees through thoughtfully-developed compensation and benefits, performance management and organizational adaptation. Their success is measured primarily on the efficiency of the workforce.

  · Johnson & Johnson (Pharmaceuticals), Vice President, Global Talent Management;
  · Nestlé (Food), Chief Talent Officer;
  · Texas Instruments (Semiconductors), Vice President, Global Talent Management.

  What is new?
   · VP Compensations and Benefits centers more on the talent retention;
   · VP Hiring centers more on the talent acquisition;
   · VP Training centers more on education, learning and coaching.

11. VP Information Security The recent and widespread hacking of corporate data have revealed how detrimental these breaches are for customer privacy and corporate reputations. Most of these breaches are many times a product of internal negligence. 50% of Vs of Information Security that we have found report to the CEO.

VPs of Information Security or Chief Information Security Officers are actively paring any data loss or data leakage through technologies, processes and training. New missions for the role include privacy compliance, risk auditing and real-time prevention from hacking or other threatening cyber activity.

   · Aetna (Insurance), Chief Information Security Officer;
   · Airbus Group (Aerospace), Chief Information Security Officer;
   · Monsanto (Agriculture), Chief Information Security Officer.

  What is new?
   · VP IT centers more on systems, architecture and applications;
   · VP Security centers more on personnel, facilities and investigations;
   · VP Fraud centers more on assets, activities and payments;

12. VP Culture The culture of a company is often crucial in developing and maintaining a company’s corporate culture and values. It represents the values that unify the workforce and define the company versus those of its competitors. 79% of VPs of Culture executives that we identified report to the CEO.

VP Culture executives engage the firm’s employees by fostering the company values, integrating new employees, communicating and representing the company’s values and taking action when these values are infringed.

  · Lyft (Transportation), Head of Culture;
  · Quantas Airways (Airlines), Group Executive, People and Culture;
  · Viacom (Entertainment & Travel), Senior Vice President of Communication and Culture.

  What is new?
  · VP HR centers more on hiring, retaining and promoting;
  · VP Diversity centers more on hiring and promoting different social groups;
  · VP Sustainability centers more on favoring sustainable practices and sustainable suppliers.


Harvard Researchers have recently shown that 20% of executive skills are becoming obsolete every year.

These 12 emerging executive jobs identified here help explain which the new skills that are now in high demand, how many corporations are evolving in these ways and, which functions the CEOs supervise to stay relevant.

  VP Culture 79%
  VP Growth 76%
  VP Regulation 75%
  VP Innovation 70%
  VP Customer Success 68%
  Likeliness for being in N-1 to a CEO

CEOs typically have eight carefully-selected direct reports. Being one of them does not happen by chance. Each of their business titles is crafted to convey the company priorities.

Since the number of a CEO’s direct reports are limited, some other functions will have to move down to N-2 or N-3 to the CEOs. We observe this happening with some geographic and country coordination functions and some corporate functions.

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How did we come up with this list? Within the organizational charts of the 67,000+ companies making over $100M in annual revenue, we have extracted the business titles that appear as of February 2018 in excess of 500 times across several industries and that were almost non-existent in February 2015.

Even though VPs of Artificial Intelligence are frequently quoted in many quarterly earning calls, only a few dozens of these VPs are currently reporting to CEOs so they are excluded from this report, which instead focuses on positions that commonly report directly to CEOs.

Special thanks to the amazing team of industry analysts at The Official Board who relentlessly track executive moves around the globe.

Please do not hesitate to contact thomas.lot@theofficialboard.com to share your views or for additional details (by industry, country or company size) about this report.

About Thomas Lot

Thomas Lot is the CEO & Founder of The Official Board. In his own executive roles as head of Apple Europe's retail team and then VP of Amazon Europe, Thomas understood the value of executive networking and recognized the need for clear company org. charts. As he helped many friends get in touch with executives, he came up with the solution of a comprehensive database for research and networking. Now, with the org charts of all the medium & large companies displayed on The Official Board, many more friends and executives can benefit from his introductions. Please contact@theofficialboard.com.