Way back in 2006, we wrote about how silly it was that all of these old school media companies were suddenly hiring "chief digital officers" or "chief internet officers" -- and how that was a sign that they were in trouble
. That's because "digital" or "internet" is not a separate silo. Companies that are going to succeed today on the internet need to get to the point where the internet simply infuses everything they do -- such that they don't even need to be thinking about it as a "separate thing." It's just part of what they do. Many of the companies who went down that route discovered that pretty quickly. Those top "digital" people often had no real power or no real authority, and with the companies hiring them, it made others believe that they didn't need to be thinking about the internet, because "someone else has got it covered."
I'm kind of surprised that any company is still thinking that way, but apparently Bloomberg has just hired a former GE exec to be its "head of global digital innovation."
Bloomberg has been, somewhat notoriously, going through some turmoil
lately in its news division, and setting up a separate silo to focus on "digital" seems like the exact wrong strategy, yet again. The company either is digital or it's not... and having to hire someone to focus on digital innovation suggests... it's not.