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Chief Digital Officer

The CDO is in charge of walking companies through their digital transition. Highly experienced and versatile, his/her role will be essential in this period of change.


Digital manager, Chief transformation officer, Digital transformation leader, Digital strategist… There are many ways to call a Chief Digital Officer. His/her main role is to walk companies through their digital transition. In order to do so, he/she must complete different missions, all of them requiring very different skills. 
  • Assess the digital maturity of the company and its collaborators: the aim is to find out where the company lays in this transition towards digitalization. This analysis allows to define precisely the impact of the digital transition, especially on the internal operation. During this stage, winning the support of the top management will be a crucial challenge for the CDO. 
  • Seek for growth opportunities: the CDO is in charge of generating leads, new customers and / or new revenues. This mission is quite similar to a marketing mission: he will have to advise, but also to deal with the operational side (online operation, social media, website optimization, etc.). The CDO may have to work with the marketing department, therefore some solid foundations in this area are required. 
  • After this assessment, the CDO builds a global strategy, segmented in specific strategies to each department (with a detailed roadmap and some measurable performance indicators). A permanent monitoring concerning new technologies is also necessary. 

Working Conditions

Holding a complex position with high responsibility, the CDO reports directly to the board, but also works in teams with all the different departments of the company. 

Required qualities

It is hard to find a professional with more experience than the CDO. He/she must have a global vision, a well-thought strategy, and a high level of expertise in IT, in marketing and management. Having some charisma and leadership skills is also fundamental. 


An MBA-like diploma is necessary to apply for this job. The top-ranking higher education establishments are quite appreciated (HEC, Sciences Po, ESCP, Centrale…), but so are some foreign universities (like Stanford or Berkeley). Obviously, an academic background is not enough: a minimum of 10 years of experience (wether in web companies, digital agencies or in consulting) is required. 


Although the CDO’s mission is usually temporary, it often happens that it turns into a CEO position. 


The gross salary for a CDO in a SME usually starts at €80,000 per year. It can reach €130K (or even €260K for senior profiles !)
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