Business leaders who focus on financial, technological, or operational aspects of a company used to call most, if not all, of the shots in corporate America. That’s changing.
The pandemic shook up the C-suite. It exposed key issues CEOs were not adequately addressing. Many employees and consumers demanded more action on mental health, diversity, and sustainability.
Responding to these calls, CEOs are rebuilding their C-suites, expanding to include new roles such as the chief purpose officer, the chief well-being officer, even the chief joy officer. Existing roles such as the chief diversity officer and the chief sustainability officer are being asked to step up in new ways.
These new roles are especially important as company leaders grapple with the Great Resignation. There’s a business case at play; companies want to retain talent.
Look no further than the job market to see this trend in action. Google and Meta are looking for a head of learning to make sure employees are on top of the latest industry trends and can acquire new skills. In the past two years, Zoom and Wendy’s hired their first chief diversity officers. McDonald’s hired its first chief global-impact officer.
Insider spoke with seven executives in these new roles to explore what their responsibilities include, how they’re shaping business, and how they see their roles evolving over time.
The responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.