Analysis: Why has Asos hired a chief growth officer?

Asos package

Asos has snapped up its first chief growth officer, also the first in a series of executive hires to bolster its leadership team.

The online fashion goliath has hired retail newcomer Robert Birge, most recently chief marketing officer at Blink Healthcare, for the role.

It is a new post for Asos and for the UK retail industry more generally. As Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson observes: “If you asked me to name all the businesses that have a chief growth officer I could name Asos, and that would be it.”

So what does a chief growth officer do exactly? And, given that growth was surely something Asos was focused on already, why does it need one now?

There is a level of ambiguity about what Birge’s role will entail and how it will fit into Asos’ existing structure.

MBS Group’s managing partner Moira Benigson says: “A chief growth officer is usually a staple in B2B organisations more than a B2C role. It generally covers business development, sales, marketing and product, so it will be interesting to see how they knit that remit into a traditional buying and merchandising led business.” 

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