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Posted 11 months ago by James Taylor


Looking back to May 2020, everyone was either forced to work from home or found themselves on furlough. The Executives I spoke to at the time were experiencing a life balance that they had unexpectedly found themselves enjoying.  Time with the family, home-schooling, lunchtime runs, early morning fitness sessions in the garden – you were probably one of them (I was!).

These same people talked about not wanting to go back to their old life, many were considering either early retirement or pursuing a portfolio career. These same business leaders have done a brilliant job of navigating their businesses through the pandemic. But they/we now find ourselves facing a new set of unprecedented challenges and as a result, the C-Suite needs to adapt in order to ensure that they are future-fit AND that they have a succession plan in place should those early retirements happen.

On Thursday 21st April 2022, Macildowie hosted an event entitled “What does the C-Suite of The Future look like?” with the aim of answering many of the questions that we are asked every week by Business Leaders and Exec Team Members.

We were privileged to be joined by five truly brilliant panellists in:

  • Zara Whysall – Research Director at Business Psychology Firm, Kiddy & Partners AND Professor of Business Psychology at NTU.

  • Kevin Green – Chief People Officer of First Bus

  • Jigna Varu – CEO of Home Fresh

  • Tim Davis – Regional Head (Primary Markets) The London Stock Exchange Group

  • Matt Chadder – CEO of Instinct Laboratory

You can watch our event back here.

The final question that was asked was this – “New World – New Seats at the table.  What are your predictions for the most popular Executive Team addition in the next 5 years?

The answers were:

  • The Chief People Officer – as HR becomes more strategic, thinking about the employee experience rather than as people as a resource.

  • The Chief Disruptor – is someone who can challenge the boardroom to think about things differently.

  • A Robot – they are more dedicated, committed and lower maintenance!

  • Chief Plumbing Officer – someone who can prevent leakage/loss (in particular in Omni-Channel environments).

  • The Chief Happiness Officer – HR will see its roles become more specialised and there will be more than one person in the HR at the top table.

  • The Chief Reality Checker – with particular reference to how businesses are actually approaching ESG / CSR and what actions are being executed and how.

A summary of the questions, in the order that they were asked, is listed below in case you would prefer to skip to the relevant section of the recording:

  • What factors are emerging now that are currently driving changes? Consequently, what roles are you seeing enter the Boardroom now?

  • Do you believe that the pandemic has accelerated the need for change at Board Level?  If so, how? What roles will appear?

  • I have heard a few different, significant phrases about the role of HR recently.  What are your thoughts about the role that HR plays and will play at the Top Table?

  • CSR / ESG and ED&I are rising (fast) up the Strategic Board Agenda – what are your views on this & what does it mean for the make-up of the C-Suite?

  • If the two main constraints to achieving growth are a lack of cash and/or a lack of quality people, what areas of the C-Suite should be invested in/strengthened first?

  • In your opinion, are C-Suite Executives sufficiently skilled in digital skills?

  • How can a CEO ensure that they are building a balanced, diverse and fully inclusive C-Suite?

  • How might the role of a NED evolve over time? 

  • To appease employees, customers and shareholders alike, companies are spending time and money grappling with huge social problems like systemic racism, income inequality and climate change – how will the C-Suite react?  Who will have accountability around the top table?

  • Assuming that the customer remains king/queen – what should Board’s be doing to put the customer experience at the heart of their strategy?

  • What are the biggest changes that the Chair Person will need to make?

  • How can the C-Suite build a first-class succession plan?

  • Will Culture still eat strategy for breakfast & if so how do the C-Suite ensure that this is talked about & included on the strategic agenda?  Especially if the hybrid workforce is here to stay?

  • When I met with Matt recently he said – The C-Suite should hire more dyslexics/neuro-diversity?  Can you expand for us please?  

  • There has been much noise in the press about how C-Suite pay/benefits have accelerated at an alarming rate compared to “normal workers” – what are your thoughts on this?

  • Finally – one for Tim.  If a business is looking to IPO what are the demands that the C-SUITE will face and where should investment be made?

  • Should there be greater perspectives from students/youths?

  • Where should meetings take place (boardroom/community/remote/outside weather-permitting)?

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events! Visit our Eventbrite to discover the events we have coming up.