Risk & reward: The evolving role of the chief compliance officer

The CCO has climbed up the ranks as one of the most important roles within the C-suite

Andy Hinton, vice president, ethics & compliance at Google

Accountability. Compliance. Risk. These are more than just buzzwords in business today. In recent years, the chief compliance officer (CCO) has climbed up the ranks as one of the most important roles within the C-suite. But as the role of the CCO has evolved to become more integral to business operations, so, too, has the CCO’s relationship to the general counsel.

This is due, in part, to the evolution of the position of the chief compliance officer over the last 10 years or so, to become a more strategic area for businesses, according to Suzanne Rich Folsom, executive vice president, general counsel and CCO at ACADEMI LLC.

Reporting structures

The distance between the CCO and the GC is increasingly evident. The Deloitte study shows that only 20 percent of CCOs report to the GC, while 34 percent report to the CEO, 17 percent to the board and 7 percent to the CFO.

Steppingstone or top of the ladder?

Even though the role of the chief compliance officer has grown in importance and prominence, its position in management hierarchy and as a steppingstone in one’s career path remains a bit unclear.

Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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