我们都知道，首席执行官是一个公司里负责日常事务的最高行政官员。除了首席执行官外，一些公司里还设有许多以 “首席 XX 官” 为名的高管职位，常见的有首席运营官、首席财务官、首席人事官和首席信息官等。而如今，各大公司正在设立越来越多的 “首席 XX 官”。
The pandemic is ushering in new C-suite roles
Not all corporate titles will stick
When meeting big new challenges, chief executive officers often resort to a convenient tool: creating fresh executive roles. This helps channel resources to pressing problems and attract talent. It signals to staff and the wider world that bosses understand what really matters (and care about it).
Sometimes, it ends up looking farcical—remember the proliferation of “chief listening officers” a decade ago, as companies sought to react to social-media chatter?
有时，它最终看起来很荒谬——还记得十年前许多公司为了应对社交媒体上的各种议论而纷纷增设 “首席倾听官” 一职吗？
But certain newfangled C-suite roles do catch on; no self-respecting corporation can do without a chief sustainability officer these days. A few corporate positions that have gained prominence during a particularly tumultuous 2020 are almost certainly here to stay.
但一些新奇的高管职位确实很流行；如今，任何一家体面的公司都不会缺少 “首席可持续发展官” 一职。在尤为动荡的 2020 年，一些高管职位的重要作用得以显现，这些职位几乎可以肯定会继续存在的。
The most obvious example is “chief medical officer”. Long common in industries where safety is an abiding concern (mining, say), health supremos are now being recruited more widely, says Tony Lee of the Society for Human Resource Management, a trade association. The pandemic is far from over, red tape around sick leave is becoming more tangled as a result of it, and mental-health problems among employees are likely to outlive the plague.
Another emerging role is that of “chief remote officer”, responsible for designing policies and disseminating best practices for home-working. Succeeding could therefore mean making oneself redundant. Mr Lee thinks this role will eventually disappear, especially at smaller companies (though it may hang around at bigger ones with more complicated and dispersed workforces).
As Bhushan Sethi of PwC, a consultancy, points out, something similar happened to chief digital officers, whom firms have recruited with gusto over the past decades. Digital honchos’ ranks are beginning to thin now that digital technology has become part of most companies’ bread and butter.
正如咨询公司普华永道的布尚·塞提所指出的那样，各大公司在过去几十年里纷纷招聘的 “首席数字官” 也面临着同样的境地。由于数字技术已经成为大多数公司的主要收入来源，数字高管的数量也在缩减。
Indeed, recruitment trends show that it is bread and butter that continues to preoccupy bosses. Hiring of “chief revenue officers” and “chief growth officers”, charged with co-ordinating firms’ sales-generating activities, has accelerated as pandemic lockdowns simultaneously restrict economies’ supply and demand sides, according to a survey by LinkedIn, a professional social network. Their share of C-suite hires is now, respectively, twice and nearly three times what it was in 2017.
事实上，招聘趋势表明，营收仍然是老板们关注的焦点。职业社交网站领英的一项调查显示，由于疫情封锁对经济体供需双方造成了限制，各大公司正在飞速招聘负责协调公司销售活动的 “首席营收官” 和 “首席增长官”。目前，这两个职位在高管人员招聘中的比例分别是 2017 年时的两倍和近三倍。
However, last year’s hottest executive recruits had nothing to do with covid-19. As protests against racial injustice rocked America last summer, companies rushed to enlist chief diversity officers, who ensure their workforce is representative of society at large.
One risk to diversity chiefs’ future job security is that most of them have not been invited to sit at the corporate top table. Most lack a direct line to the CEO. At worst, the post becomes “a ceremonial role”, with no authority, resources or structure, warns Michael Hyter of Korn Ferry, a consultancy. At best, like other modish corporate roles, it may eventually become redundant.