How to Go From CIO to CEO

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 11-07-2013 Email

Does a glass ceiling exist for CIOs looking to rise to the position of CEO? Hardly, as many high-profile names have successfully made this transition. To cite just a few: Kirby Slunaker was CIO at Visa USA, ProCard, Pendum and other companies before being named CEO of Metrolist, a real-estate listing service. Andrew Rashbass was CIO of the Economist before getting promoted to CEO there, and is now CEO of Reuters news. Dawn Lepore made her name as a star CIO for Charles Schwab, and then headed and as CEO. Even with those examples, it's difficult to ignore the reality that CIOs are often perceived as being a different breed than the classic CEO archetype. After all, 28 of the Fortune 100 CEOs pursued a finance-based career track, and 20 came up from operations, according to research compiled by N2growth. (As for IT backgrounds? While N2growth indicates that seven of the Fortune 100 CEOs have engineering backgrounds, tech is apparently so insignificant that it doesn't even merit its own category.) However, CIOs are elevating their profiles as key business contributors, and this is helping overcome obstacles and stigmas that may have prevented their rise to the very top of the leadership chart. If this is their intention, they'd do themselves a favor by adopting the following best practices, according to research from Korn/Ferry International and Ernst & Young. For more about the Korn/Ferry International guide, click here. For more about the Ernst & Young report, click here.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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