The Chief Creative Job Has a Murky Future at Big Brands

A crowd gathered in Minneapolis last week to watch a panel discussion on the rise of the chief creative officer. Creative had been making a move into the C-suite at big marketers including Best Buy, Target and General Mills in recent years. Planned since the fall, the event drew more than 120 attendees from both agencies and brands.

There was only one problem: By the time the program began, two of the three speakers had left their CCO roles.

In the last five years, the role of a top creative at companies has been gaining ground as a brand necessity, especially as the scope of CMO responsibilities have widened. Yet the last two months have seen the two high-profile departures in Tom Nowak, CCO at Best Buy since 2015, and Michael Fanuele, CCO at General Mills since 2014. As brands struggle for a balance between science and creativity and manage costs accordingly brand innovation jobs are in an uncertain place.

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