Feature Story

Is this CDO Candidate Right for the Job?

Hiring a chief digital officer? Every position is different, but this annotated resume helps identify strengths and weaknesses.

Not all chief digital officer (CDO) jobs are the same, so there is no single candidate who’s right for every position.

Donald Dithers, a fictional executive, is looking for a new role as CDO. Does he have what it takes to bring your company to the next level of digital success?

Our executive recruiter, Martha Heller of Heller and Associates, provides feedback on this CDO candidate.

Dithers’ annotated resume shows the experience of a potentially successful CDO. Let’s address any gaps, and determine what the hiring company should be looking for. Simply click the information icon to read Heller's annotations.

Donald Dithers 999 W. Central Street, East Fishkill, NY (999) 999-9999 @Chiefly_Digital


Experienced, data-driven executive with proven track record of building digital products and organizational capabilities.

Experience and Accomplishments

VP of Digital Product Management and Marketing February 2013—present

Director of Product Marketing Analytics April 2010—January 2013

Acme Widget

Progressive responsibilities at maker of data collection devices in $1.5B healthcare and automotive equipment. Added P&L responsibility for new division creating data-based products, reporting directly to CEO as part of the company’s Innovation Committee.

  • Created new product lines yielding $50M revenue growth in FY 2015, with projected CAGR of 25% over next three years.
  • Led formal User Experience review program responsible for incremental revenue from older products through improved engagement rates in digital marketing programs. For example, initial A/B testing pilots on ecommerce landing pages show opportunity for 8-12% conversion rate improvement.
  • Hired and trained staff of eight data scientists for Analytics Center of Excellence, working toward data-driven performance improvement across all Acme business units.
  • Reduced online cost-per-lead by 15% through optimization of advertising and content promotion strategies.
  • Created technical roadmap for online sales attribution, integrating marketing automation platform, ecommerce systems, call center data, and other systems.

Member, Board of Advisors 2011—present


Provide technical and business guidance to leadership team of NetSocial, a 501(c) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth from low-income areas navigate and benefit from online social networks.

Assistant Director of Marketing Technology October 2005—March 2010

Consilience Retail Systems

Responsible for all IT systems and functions in support of digital marketing efforts for $450M systems integrator and software company: CRM, marketing automation, loyalty program, affiliate marketing, advertising/media management, and social media monitoring and engagement.

  • Completely revamped internal training programs, resulting in higher employee usage and greater efficiency of CRM and marketing automation systems.
  • Created formal process for high-speed piloting of marketing system point solutions using public cloud, followed seamless pull-back to on-premise systems and internal socialization of successful systems.
  • Initiated marketing data quality effort in early 2010.
  • These systems contributed to KPI growth for the marketing function, including 3% year-over-year customer retention improvement in 2009 and significantly higher lead generation and social media engagement.

Manager, IT systems and business process analysis 2001—2005

Apex Medical

  • Led team of four analysts to gather data from diverse stakeholders, create process maps and system wireframes, and propose process or training changes for efficiency and regulatory compliance.
  • Served as primary liaison for outside firms in completing security and compliance audits.

Management associate/analyst 1998—2001

Ascendancy Consulting


  • MBA, Information Management and Analytics, Rutgers University, 2009
  • BA, Mathematics and Philosophy, Yale University, 1997

For more of Heller’s insights on qualities that make CDOs successful, see the article 3 Overlooked Attributes of a Great Chief Digital Officer.