The CCO: why you need one (and how to become one)

2 min read

In the last few years we’ve seen an explosion in growth in the number of Chief Customer Officers (CCOs). Its spread has been fantastic for putting customers at the center of businesses, but why has it become such a crucial function within SaaS?

With that question in mind, we went out and got three leading CCOs to discuss:

  1. What best prepared them in their career to be a CCO

  2. What does the role focus on, and is it the same at every organization

  3. What future they see for the role

  4. And much more...


Christian Jakenfelds has had multiple different customer-facing roles. He joined Tessian as one of their first CSMs and this is where he saw how CS is the engine for growth in SaaS businesses. He now works with Planhat in the UK market and has been named one of the top 25 CS Influencers in 2021.


Jennifer Yorke is passionate about scaling high-growth tech businesses, and growing teams who want to do things differently. Jenn helped to launch Hootsuite, and evolved EMEA Success teams at Box and Bazaarvoice. Now, she is the CCO at Ometria and leads the Customer Success, Professional Services and Support teams. With over a decade of experience driving revenue growth through sales, customer engagement, and business development, Jenn loves a challenge - including running after her excitable 3 year old.

Pat Phelan has been involved in SaaS before SaaS was a 'thing'. Over the past 20 plus years, he's worked his way from CSM to CCO and has held multiple leadership roles that span EMEA and Global and operated in industries such as Ecomm, HR tech, Social Media Management, and most recently Fintech in his role as CCO at GoCardless where he oversees the global Customer Success group. Pat is passionate about driving exceptional customer experience as well as building high-performing teams.

Chris Regester is the CCO at Planhat where he ensures customers are central to everything we do. He has worked in SaaS for almost 20 years, focusing on building teams, strategy and processes in diverse markets around the world. On the rare occasions he is not talking about customer centricity he can be found chasing his dog and daughters on the farm where he lives outside London.

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