The Fractional CPO

Posted: 08/31/2023 - 20:58
The Fractional CPO
"Fractional employment will only increase in the future. Rather than fight it, embrace it." A relevant quote from Phil Simon, in his blog The Rise of the Fractional CxO 

There is an exciting trend occurring within the labor market - fractional CxOs. So, what is a fractional CxO? They are highly experienced executives with functional, industry-domain knowledge retained by an organization on a part-time or contract basis. Instead of being a full-time employee, the fractional CxO provides expertise, insights, mentoring, and leadership for specific hours or days per week or month. The arrangement allows organizations to access the subject matter expertise and strategic guidance of a CxO without the full-time executive expense.

I am seeing the fractional CxO in the procurement space. So, what is the benefit of the fractional Chief Procurement Officer (CPO)? From my experience where I have advised and played the fractional CPO role, a fractional CPO brings significant value by providing expertise and leadership in procurement strategy and mentoring. They help to optimize the end-to-end procurement processes, provide insights on policy and procuretech, mentor/train the team, build the procurement brand, mature the function, negotiate better deals with suppliers, manage risk, and drive cost savings. Their strategic guidance leads to optimized procurement practices, streamlined operations, and increased efficiency and scale in the procurement function, ultimately contributing to the organization's bottom line.

So what are the benefits to the CxO of playing the fractional role:

●      Flexibility to manage their time and types of engagements

●      Variety, diversity of engagement, industry, and organizations

●      High impact as the CxO steps into the role with a clear mission statement and challenge to address

●      Personal professional development enables them to develop new skills and capabilities continually

●      Developing an entrepreneurial mindset, having worked for a Series C startup, in my humble opinion, there is nothing more professionally rewarding and refreshing than the entrepreneurial experience

●      Autonomy, which comes with a fractional CxO role

A fractional CxO role offers a dynamic and rewarding career path for the individual with domain subject matter expertise seeking a flexible, impactful, and diverse professional journey.

Check out my qualifications if there is a fractional CPO need:  I would welcome a conversation to understand how I may be of assistance. 

Contact me at


About The Author

Greg Tennyson's picture
Greg Tennyson has a unique perspective on the buy-sell dynamics given his comprehensive experiences. He is a SIG Sourcing Supernova Hall of Fame member. In 2019 he earned both the prestigious CPO of the Year Award from Ardent Partners and the esteemed Pinnacle Award for most Innovative Procurement Operations from Everest Group. The former CPO & VP of Corporate Services at VSP Global, CPO and VP S2S at (2008 to 2013), and CPO and VP S2S at Oracle Corporation (1998 to 2008), and Bay Area Procurement Council Founder (2004), he is an innovative thought leader, trailblazer, and procurement evangelist. Greg earned his M.Sc. Management from Saint Mary’s College of California with professional credentials from SIG, NAPM, and NCMA.