Chief Digital Officer Study

Explore our global findings on digital leaders.

Has the CDO hype reached a turning point?

How has the CDO role changed since 2014? What does the future hold for CDOs?

Find the answers in the latest study of Strategy& that analyses the CDOs at the world’s largest 2,500 public companies. Facing the need to adapt themselves to the ever changing market, companies have hired increasingly more executives to lead their digital transformation. This trend is changing and the nature and remit of this role is being redefined.

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Global key findings

21% of analyzed companies have designated a CDO (or equivalent). This is a slight increase compared to 19% in 2016.

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39% of companies based in Europe, 23% of companies in North America, and 10% of companies in Asia Pacific have a CDO in place.

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41% of CDOs have a technology background in comparison to 32% in 2016. 18% have a marketing, sales and customer service background, down from 39% in 2016.

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54% of CDOs have a C-level position.

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The 2019 Chief Digital Officer study identified the world’s 2,500 largest public companies, defined by their market capitalization (from Bloomberg) on March 31, 2018. In this study, a CDO is defined as that executive, whose responsibility is to develop and implement the company’s strategy for the digital age. Independent of the title set by the firm, the function of a CDO is to lead the company throughout its cross-functional transformation to a digital enabled enterprise. CDOs were identified using electronic sources in many languages such as company and executive directories (Thomson Reuters, BoardEx), corporate homepages, business network platforms (LinkedIn, Xing) and press databases (Factiva). The defined industry segments, geographic regions, CDO backgrounds and company market cap are Strategy&-customized classifications.

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Dr. Pierre Péladeau

Dr. Pierre Péladeau

Partner, Strategy& France