What is the life span of a CxO at a law firm? 

Carolyn Elefant’s blog post title – Life for Law Firm Marketers: Brutish, and Ultimately Short – summarizes the lot of law firm marketers. She asks “Is the short life span of law firm marketers unique? Do marketers in other industries also have short tenures as well?”

One can easily ask the same of law firm CIOs and CKOs. Here’s a possibly half-baked hypothesis… The job implied by “Chief” is the real problem. I’m not talking titles. An IT director runs the infrastructure; a CIO sets strategy and aligns IT with the business. A marketing manager run seminars and does direct e-mail; a CMO sets strategy and aligns marketing with the business. Perhaps the short tenure of Chiefs flows from lawyer resistance to (1) strategy and (2) non-lawyer involvement in real management, not just execution.