Image of Tanya Macey who writes about the Product Manager becoming the CDO who will replace the CEO
Tanya Macey, Senior Consultant - BluZinc

Dear Guest, I am writing this article for you, on day 2 of my new job at BluZinc.


I know that creativity is a behaviour you believe in and the passion I demonstrated for finding digital and FinTech Executive talent at HSBC continues with increased autonomy and mastery. 


The clients of BluZinc are funded start-ups, scaling SMBs and forward thinking digitally evolving corporates. 

Locations are not limited to London, the UK, EU, Africa and my CEO visits clients during September in Northern America.

Consider Yourself Agile, Grade 10 Leadership Talent?  

Then keep reading, especially relevant if you are a Digital Product Owner, otherwise know as a mini-CTO or mini-CEO. 


Succession Plans and Career Progression in the Digital Age for the CDO to CEO

As I venture on my new career path I am interested in your opinion for the senior digital career landscape and executive recruitment.  You are possibly a Digital Product Manager AKA ‘mini-CEO’ or ‘mini-CTO’ (of products), so do you have your sights on the CDO or CEO’s role? 


As you have known for years, Digital is an ever changing, evolving landscape.  ‘One size’, ‘one job title’ or ‘one set of skills’, does not fit all.  Your role of Digital Product Manager in it’s current state does not fit generic business needs and organisations often don’t understand their current or emerging needs.  Many companies outside of the tech sector are building their software capabilities for success in the digital era.


Product managers are the glue that sticks many functions together. These functions all touch at least some of same products if not all:

  • engineering, design, customer success, sales, marketing, operations, finance, legal, and more.
The Product Managers of the past, focused on execution and were measured by the on-time delivery of engineering projects.


Are You a Digital Product Manager of the Past?

As a Product Manager of today, you make decisions about what gets built but also influences every aspect of how it gets built and launched.


You wear many hats, using a broad knowledge base to balance their decisions, and bring together cross-functional teams, ensuring collaboration between diverse functions.


You prime yourself for the future role, you tend to have sailed into this role via three various streams.


You are either:

  • Technologists (VMware, AWS)
  • Generalists (Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb)
  • Business Orientated (Salesforce, Zynga, Chase)

What are Your Future Career Prospects?

  • I know that roles in digital can often be temporary and unsustainable due to the stage or phase of evolution any company’s’ digital journey is at
  • I  know that digital is here to stay

Does this Mean the “mini – CTO / CEO” will be the next CEO or CDO?

The three streams that the CDO / CEO tend to have sailed through to reach this point of their career are those that are:

  • Ex-Agency (traditional interactive marketing leaders)
  • Digital Transformation Strategists (change/re-invention agents for their organization)
  • Technologists (those who view digital primarily from an enterprise perspective)

Some views are that the:

  • CIO will be replaced by the CDO
  • CEO is ranked the 3 highest recruited role in digital currently (International Research Institute)
  • CDO is the six highest paid job (Economic Times)

Do you agree?


Questions are:

  1. Do Digital Product Managers think and act more like a CEO?
  2. Is the CDO and CEO a separate job?
  3. Are CMOs stronger CDOs and future CEOs? 
  4. Is the CDO and their team sustainable?
Your views and comments are welcome.


BluZinc's smart recruitment platforms and strategies can support you in presenting your brand or company and exciting career opportunities via microsites, case studies, gamification and video content.  You will receive an executive full service search, bespoke talent attraction and strategic approach on an individual basis.  Including search campaign management (including market mapping and workforce planning consultation).  We believe that every one of our clients are unique, just like you.  Sometimes we first talk about your career search; sometimes it is your talent search… either way, we can develop a productive relationship for life.


We host private lunches, breakfasts and evening events for our most committed clients and those interested in getting to know us. 


Next time, let’s talk about:

  • What is being done to increase the circa 14% of C-suite women in all industries?


With gratitude from Tanya Macey all the team at BluZinc,


Jonathan Pearson


Founder & Chief Executive


PS: reply to email Tanya direct or check out Tanya's profile and her blog here