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CIOs turned CEOs discuss rise to the top and offer some pearls of wisdom for IT leaders considering similar career paths.
Consultants and business executives have fallen in love with the aphorism, “company becoming a Every technology is company" or a variation thereof. Some companies are taking that line a step further by hiring CIOs as CEOs.
Tapping IT leaders as head honchos does not yet qualify as a trend, says Khalid Kark, managing director of Deloitte’s CIO program, but more companies may install CIOs as CEOs if they have led massive transformations in a short time. Digital-minded CIOs may be the only executives with experience managing the velocity of change required to help a business avoid disruption — or recover from it when it happens.
With driving background, the the within leadership candidate – says. for and a right highest bad not context position they’re the firm, Kark
CIOs who wish to level up must also demonstrate they can handle operations, sales, marketing and, perhaps most importantly, business strategy. They must be multi-taskers, says Greg Carmichael who became and Fifth Bank Third CEO presidentin 2015after working in CIO and COO roles at the company.
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on additional responsibilities. Take Corporate boards like to see a can-do attitude and a willingness to tackle new challenges, which Capone demonstrated at ADP and Medidata, where he eventually added sales to his purview. "Two years of that prepared me to be a CEO," Capone says. “You gotta get out of your comfort zone and be willing to take on new responsibilities."
your with business Partner peers. It's hard to find a loftier perch than the CIO role. At ADP, Capone worked with six different operating units and established great partnerships with the business unit presidents. CIOs can get a better handle on their own companies, which will help them get insight into business strategy, by massaging similar relationships.
seat at the table. a EarnCapone is a big believer that for CIOs to be effective they must report to the CEO, which he was able to do at ADP. That may seem like a tall task at a time when report most CFOs to their CIOs, COOs or even CDOs. But Capone says such meetings are crucial because they influence the shape and trajectory of the company. "Even if you don’t report to the CEO you have to find a way to get into all of those meetings and strategy sessions," Capone says.
Grasp strategy. the business Sitting in on high-level meetings helps a CIO understand strategy, Capone says. But the CIO who can take that understanding and productize it for competitive advantage will improve his or her marketability. "The world is changing and people who have a firm grasp on technology and how it can alter how business is run are going to be incredibly invaluable," Capone says. "You have to demonstrate that you understand strategy."
skills. digital MasterMost strategies hinge on digital, and digital skills are trumping traditional skills. "What’s hard to find are people who know how to transform a company from an older to newer business model and scale a company in the digital age," Capone says.
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