Fact of the Week: Only 23 percent of large corporations in North America have a chief digital officer, compared to 39 percent in Europe.

Caleb Foote September 9, 2019
September 9, 2019

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Source: PwC Strategy&, “Chief Digital Officer Study,” March 2019.

Commentary: From cloud computing to e-commerce and social media, companies’ digital strategies have become crucial across all industries. This is reflected in the rise of chief digital officer (CDO) positions, which companies have used to centralize and prioritize their digital strategies. A study of the 2,500 largest public corporations found that 21 percent had a CDO or equivalent position as of 2018, up from 6 percent in 2014.

European companies lead the way, with 39 percent having a CDO, compared to 23 percent of companies in North America and 10 percent of companies in the Asia-Pacific region. CDOs are most common in the insurance and banking industries (41 and 32 percent, respectively) and are the least common in the technology industry (13 percent), where companies’ digital strategies are often too integral to the business to be centralized.