Executive Teams – what I’ve learned from the S&P 500’s A Team

digital economy executive team S&P 500 strategy leadership roles
When I published my first post on the current and future structure of Executive Leadership Teams (ExCos) I promised that I was in the process of extending the data set to encompass the S&P 500 as well as the FTSE 100. As you can imagine, this is a mammoth undertaking given that my time is restricted to evenings (when not looking after my son), weekends (ditto), the commute and snatched sidebar conversations with colleagues. Nonetheless I am making some progress in my analysis… my data gathering for all companies beginning with ‘A’ on the S&P 500 are now complete. Rather than wait for all letters to be completed, I thought I’d throw out a few findings and see what you all think of them. So, in no particular order:
  • I was able to look at 63 organisations, although 3 of them declined to publish details of their leadership structure and I was unable to get the information from within my network. One of these, incidentally, is Alphabet…
  • In the ‘A’s, the average ExCo size is bigger than in the FTSE 100 (11 plays 10)…
  • …and there is often a very large extended leadership team that in several cases pushed out beyond 20 people
  • The S&P 500 ‘A’s’ have a subtly different make-up in terms of seats:
    • COO
    • CHRO
    • A Geographic Market Leader
    • 2 3 Market Vertical Leaders
    • CIO or Chief Digital Officer
    • General Counsel
    • CSO
    • Chief Marketing Officer
  • More than a quarter of organisations did have a Chief Strategy Officer, so the role is still important to some. Marketing is, however, a little better represented thus far
A couple of things that entertained me:
  • I found one spelling mistake:

  • One organization in retail decided to include ‘customer satisfaction‘ in the job title of every executive to emphasise how important customer satisfaction is… the exception being the CHRO, who apparently doesn’t need to concern himself with customers… 
  • The most confusing job title I found was: Chairman, EMEA, Commercial Risk Solutions, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, EMEA, Commercial Risk Solutions, CEO, MENA, Commercial Risk Solutions. What is this person’s skillset and how do they choose where to spend their time?
  • One company has both a Chief Design Officer and a CAIO (and it’s Apple)
  • Four companies declined to list their executives and I was unable to find a definitive list of them… and one of those is Alphabet… so much for transparency
Anyhow, my analysis continues. Hope you found that update useful!
READ THIS:  Analysis of Size of ExCo by Sector
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