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Help Wanted: MoFo CMO

At a time when some law firms are paring back their marketing departments, at least one firm is hiring. The international law firm Morrison & Foerster has posted a help-wanted ad for a chief marketing officer at the Web site of the Legal Marketing Association.

The firm is looking for someone who is a "natural strategist who has solid business acumen, strong operational talents, and a passion for delivering results." The person should be a "confident executive" with "emotional intelligence" and "a willingness to roll up one's sleeves to get the job done." No salary is specified, but a job such as this at a firm such as this no doubt commands a handsome compensation package.

Sounds like an appealing job. Candidates even have their choice of two prime locations -- San Francisco or New York. But before you rush to polish and send off your résumé, consider that the last person who held the job lasted less than eight months. In this volatile economy, one benefit no CMO job offers is long-term security.

It was a year ago this month that MoFo announced its hiring of Susan Klein as its new CMO. Klein represented a break from tradition in the world of legal marketing, in that she had never worked in legal marketing. Her marketing background was in the financial services industry. Her most recent job had been as CMO of the Consumer Lending Group at Citibank. She had also worked at Bank of America, Charles Schwab, MasterCard International and Morgan Stanley.

"Having spent what seems a lifetime in financial services, I was ready to apply my experience to a new area of professional services," Klein said at the time. But just eight months later, The Am Law Daily was reporting that Klein was no longer working at MoFo. "Sources with knowledge of the move say the decision was Klein's, noting that a law firm's culture and structure can require more adjustment than someone arriving from corporate America may expect," the report said.

The successful candidate will be offered relocation assistance, the help-wanted ad says. Even so, the new CMO may be well advised to rent, not buy.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 22, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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