- As technology weaves through all areas of business, CTOs want more business responsibility. More than half of CTOs want to become a CEO, according to a Korn Ferry survey of almost 200 CTOs.
- More than half of CTOs said they present to their board quarterly, a 10% year-over-year increase from 2018. Digital transformation is the top priority for 41% of CTOs and more than three-quarters spend time "driving strategy," followed by reporting digital data.
- Nearly 75% of CTOs say there is not an "internal ready-now successor" to fill their role and only 38% have a comprehensive plan in place for their successor. About 77% of the C-suite as a whole lacks a comprehensive successor plan.
As technology becomes deeply rooted in the customer product and experience, chief technology executives are getting a seat at the table.
Digital transformation reigns as the top strategic priority for C-suite members, including CEO, CFO, CHRO, CIO and CMO, according to Korn Ferry. CTOs have to listen to what their organization is asking of them, which will allow them to experiment with disruptive technologies and implement them accordingly.
The "cost center" perception of IT is moving more toward a profit center to enable digital transformation. IT creates opportunity for more products, services and business models for employees and customers. Effectively, the CIO has become "the CEO of a technology company."
The ambition of chief technologies doesn't stop in the IT department. Last June, Verizon Communications promoted EVP and CTO Hans Vestberg to CEO. The decision to move a technologist to the executive who oversees every part of the business highlighted Verizon's tech-based desire to build its 5G wireless network.
Vestberg had first-hand exposure to Verizon's efforts after overseeing the development of the company's fiber-centric network architecture as CTO.
CIO and CTO promotions to CEO are not reserved for tech companies. Nike's former global CIO Anthony Watson moved on to a number of leadership roles, including CEO of TBOL, according to LinkedIn. Mike Capone graduated from CIO of ADP, to COO of Medidata Solutions to CEO of Qlik in January 2018, according to LinkedIn.