UCL School of Management

21 February 2022

Should your next CEO be a CIO?

Group in a business meeting with the focus on one man addressing the group.

As Chief Information Officers, CIOs, become increasingly more influential in the strategic management of organisations, it would be reasonable to presume they would ascend to Chief Executive Officers CEOs but this isn’t strictly true. Speaking with raconteur James Berry explains that while they do possess the necessary skills required, a good CEO needs a broader set of expertise.

Although historically associated with the “techy side” of an organisation CIOs are becoming more involved in the strategic planning of organisations to evolve in the ever-changing technology-driven world. Jim explains their ability to understand and interpret data into a strategic asset makes them suitable to become a CEO, but warns a good CEO needs more than this.

A good CEO will not only understand the function and potential of technologies; they will also have a broad enough understanding of the wider business to know how the data produced by those technologies will be used by the organisation’s core functions.”

There is no doubting CIOs have the right set of skills to step up, and there are success stories of the transition. However, their lack of exposure in comparison to C-level colleagues to key functions of the business outside of the technology hub, is necessary to take on the leading role of an organisation.

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Last updated Tuesday, 22 February 2022