By the Numbers: Who becomes a CCO and how they get there

A snapshot of CCOs today

Since the pandemic, their prominence has grown as communications emerged as a more visible, valued part of the C-suite.

But what does an average CCO look like?

Patino Associates published the “2024 Chief Communications Office Turnover Study,” delving into who holds these roles, how long they’ve held them and what might lead them to leave.



Patino Associates wrote that they were inspired to perform the research after noticing changes in the CCO industry and turnover that differed in key ways from those of other members of the C-suite.

The study pulled data on CCOs at Fortune 500 companies rather than relying on opinion surveys.

Here’s what they found.

Who are CCOs?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, in the female-dominated industry of communications, CCOs are overwhelmingly women. Sixty-six percent of CCOs at Fortune 500 companies are women, roughly in line with industry demographics. But compared to other C-suite officers, it’s a shockingly high number: Only 18.5% of similar CFOs are female and only 10.4% of CEOs are women. These demographics hold generally true even in the largest Fortune 50 companies (60% female CCOS), across public and private companies (63% versus 70%) and across industries.

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