Major Brands Rethink the Role of Chief Metaverse Officer

Major Brands Rethink the Role of Chief Metaverse Officer

Major brands including American Eagle and Gucci are considering how a Chief Metaverse Officer can strengthen their company as the sector matures beyond FOMO and into creating real value.

Some companies are re-examining how they define the role while others have seemingly abandoned the position. But the evidence shows that even if some corporations are failing to replace outgoing metaverse officers, they are continuing to pursue business opportunities within the sector.

Making the metaverse matter

The metaverse is moving beyond the hype bubble into producing real value. Companies that hired a Chief Metaverse Officer during the peak of the hype wave are now considering how those roles move forward.

Gucci, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Disney, LVMH, Epic Games, and Crate & Barrel were among the many corporate brands to FOMO in during metaverse mania. The result of these metaverse experiments has been as varied as the companies that pursued them. 

Disney, for example, cut its metaverse team entirely. As MetaNews previously covered, this decision was fueled by an internal power struggle within the organization. Bizarrely, Disney continues to retain the services of its Chief Metaverse Office Mike White. 

Matt Moorut, director analyst for Gartner’s marketing practice may offer some explanation as to why White remains in post.

“The skillset for a chief metaverse officer is very similar to the one needed for digital transformation work more broadly, which is still a key objective for boards and CEOs,” Moorut told AdAge on Tuesday.

“Given that, it’s possible we’ll see a diffusing of focus for some chief metaverse officers to better suit the needs of the day for businesses.”

The broadening role of the Chief Metaverse Officer is something that has been seen elsewhere in the industry. Journey’s Cathy Hackl, who became one of the industry’s first CMOs, is one such example. Hackl is now the corporations’ Chief Futurist, and handles the metaverse, gaming, and AI.

Similarly, American Eagle’s Nathan Poekert no longer remains the firm’s “director of social media, culture and metaverse marketing” and is now, “director of social media, branded content and digital innovation.”  

Empty seats

The CMOs of some firms, including Gucci and Epic Games, have departed and are yet to be replaced.

Gucci lost the services of Robert Triefus in April. Triefus held the role of chief executive of Vault and metaverse ventures. Despite appearing to have recorded some significant wins with metaverse technology the company has yet to hire anyone else for the role.

Likewise, Epic Games has yet to replace its VP of metaverse development, Matthew Henick. Henick left the position in January, suggesting the gaming firm is not inclined to refill the position.

Despite the apparent hiring freeze both companies continue to pursue metaverse strategies. Gucci recently teamed up with Vans to launch a metaverse experience on Roblox. The firm is also partnering with Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Apes, to bring Gucci to the Otherside metaverse.

As for Epic Games, CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed in March that the company continues to be “all-in” on creating the metaverse.

Staying the course

While a number of firms shift focus or reorganize their structures, there are others who continue firmly on the same path. For instance, LVMH and Crate & Barrel continue to retain the services of Nelly Mensah and Sebastian Brauer respectively.

Camille Kroely, chief metaverse and Web3 officer at L’Oreal, also remains in post. 

The beauty industry has proved successful at leveraging the metaverse and its opportunities. As MetaNews covered earlier this month, the make-up brand is one of a number of firms actively engaging with customers in the virtual space – opening a store in the metaverse to engage directly with customers.

As the metaverse sector matures individual firms continue to assess how best to pursue commercial opportunities. Whether that involves a CMO or not, businesses are now finding practical ways to create real value from the virtual space.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.