Lots of examples of Chief Marketing Officers who have made it to this corner office, in this piece by Kim Whitler for Forbes. Pleasing to see namechecks for a couple of our clients, also!
What function drives the firm can often be determined by looking at the CEO. In my days at IBM, if you wanted to get to the corner office, you knew the path was through sales. Up to that point, every CEO had risen through the sales organization so you knew it was the function valued most—it had an outsized strategic role in the firm.