The amount of CEOs at the head of FTSE 100 companies has increased by 27 per cent in the last year, according to new data from Robert Half UK.

The increase takes the total number of CEOs with a background in tech to 14 per cent.

In contrast the number of FTSE leaders with retail and hospitality experience is in decline, from 21 per cent in 2016 to 15 per cent in 2019. Of the new CEOs appointed this year, just one had a background in retail and hospitality.

But despite a shift in the skillsets of today’s FTSE leaders to navigate the changing business landscape, diversity among CEOs remains mostly stagnant.

The average age for a FTSE CEO is 55; unchanged from the previous two years, while 18 per cent are Oxbridge educated, unchanged from 2018 and increasing from 16 per cent in 2017.

Despite numerous initiatives to improve gender representation in the boardroom, the number of female CEOs has decreased from 7 per cent in 2018 to 6 per cent.

“Today’s CEOs require a changing blend of skills and experience to successfully lead their businesses into the future, with backgrounds in technology and finance equipping an increasing number with the ability to do so,” said Charlie Grubb, UK Managing Director, Robert Half Executive Search.

“This is a trend that is increasingly becoming a focus for executive and senior leadership hires within a business as well – especially when coupled with invaluable softer skills such as communication, adaptability and resilience.”

Individual commitments to workplace diversity and equal opportunities become even more significant when considering that nearly half of current CEOs (46 per cent) were appointed as a result of internal promotion, compared to 30 per cent in 2016.

“The research also highlights the importance of encouraging diversity at all levels of an organisation,” continued Grubb.

“A broad range of views, experience and backgrounds will not only benefit the business today, but also bolster its overall talent pipeline and pool for future leaders.

“While this process will take time to filter up to the top of FTSE firms, businesses need to make this a priority to deliver on their long-term diversity goals.”