CMO Career Transitions: You're CMO, Now What?

Virtual Events
Thu, Jan 14, 8:30 AM (PST)

About this event

Listen to the full Virtual Roundtable [56:57]

Congrats, you’re a CMO - now what? In this panel discussion moderated by Jon Suarez-Davis (jsd), SVP at Salesforce, members heard from current CEOs and board members who made the jump into new roles and received advice on how they achieved this, what challenges they faced, and what they wished they knew when making the transition.

Our panel included: 

Christine Nashick, CMO and CEO at DHL Express
Syl Saller, CBE, Former CMO at Diageo & President of the Marketing Society
Sherilyn Shackell, Founder and CEO at The Marketing Academy

Here are some highlights from this roundtable: 

You're a New CMO – Where do You Start and What do You do Next? 

  • Christine Nashick drove home that the shock of being in an executive role is always real - be sure to advocate for yourself and make sure marketing has a seat in the board room. Doubting yourself is normal but you need to find the confidence and voice that your executive board and your team's needs. 
  • Make sure you know the needs of your company both in marketing and beyond. 
    • "Move the role of marketing into revenue growth accountability"
  • Take yourself on a "Journey of Confidence" as Syl Saller said. And beyond that, she reiterated that it is critical to have the voice of marketing in the board room but that voice needs to be focused on growth.
  • Sherilynn Shackell stressed the importance of being flexible and adaptable as a CMO - especially in the past year. She also highlighted that marketers are the best communicators in most companies, but as Syl said, they need to be using those skills in the executive board room. 

You're an Experienced CMO – What's Next? How do You Make the Next Move?

  • Christine made the move into a broader role as CEO of the Caribbean by looking for where there was a need in the company that she could fill and where she could really make a difference. She had held a multitude of different roles inside and outside of marketing, so she was aware of the needs of the business rather than the needs of just marketing, which is critical to advocate for your career growth into a new role. 
  • Syl spoke about finding clarity about your purpose and translating that into impact. Don't take a job just for the title - find what you are passionate about and what brings you joy and try to find the ideal role that checks all of those boxes. 
  • Sherilynn gave members the advice of: "For anyone to make the jump, you have to invest in your development, capability, and your people. People are the growth engine." 
  • Development is underinvested in with time, investment, and growth. Find a mentor outside of marketing - cross-company mentoring - to get a full grasp of the business and company needs. Beyond that, find someone to mentor inside and outside of your current organization. Mentoring helps your own leadership development and you often learn more from the mentees than you expect! 

Key Takeaways from the Panel 

  • Christine's biggest advice? Being truly open to the possibilities and following your passion in every step of your career.
  • Syl says, "Swing out big. Most of the mistakes I’ve made in my career have been playing it safe or taking a job I didn’t want. Be ambitious for yourself and the world."
  • Sherilynn's advice was simple: "Walk in the shoes of everyone else on the board". Broadening your horizons will broaden your influence. 

More resources on career growth and next steps

Check out The Marketing Academy and their incredible programs available to both CMO's and their emerging leaders. You can apply for the Fellowship Program, nominate your emerging leaders for the Scholarship Program, or become a mentor to those in the Scholarship Program.

Syl is the co-creator of the Marketing Leadership Masterclass. She is also an amazing Executive Coach and is open to our members contacting her to learn more. Email her at if you are interested. 


  • Christine Nashick

    Christine Nashick

    DHL Express

    CMO and CEO

    See Bio
  • Syl Saller, CBE

    Syl Saller, CBE


    Former CMO & President of the Marketing Society

    See Bio

  • Hosts

  • Jon Suarez-Davis

    Jon Suarez-Davis


    SVP, Marketing Strategy & Innovation

  • Sherilyn Shackell

    Sherilyn Shackell

    The Marketing Academy

    Founder and CEO