Well, another CMO has resigned his firm and the hunt is on for his replacement.

Makes me think about all the firms I have interviewed with and those red-flag moments … and a prior firm where I lived through several “interim” CMOs as they interviewed, and interviewed, and interviewed for a permanent CMO, only to have their top candidate accept another job and the process would begin again.

What advice would you give to the hiring committee at Ropes & Gray as they go about the process of finding Jim Durham’s replacement, or any hiring committee for that matter?

I’ve got a few to start us off:

  • The CMO has to work with people on many different levels and in many different departments. Start talking to your senior marketing/administrative professionals early on. What were the positives/negatives of the prior CMO? What was lacking in his or her skill set, both tactical and managerial? What did they have that you cannot live without?
  • Have the senior directors interview the candidates before the firm management has decided on who they want in the job … then actually listen to their input.
  • What are the top priorities for the person coming into the job? These will most likely be different than the last time you were hiring. Don’t recreate the “same” CMO to do a different job.