- The average CIO across industries is 55-years-old, a stat that makes CIOs the second-oldest C-suite member, according to an analysis of the top 1,000 U.S. companies by revenue from management consulting firm Korn Ferry.
- By comparison to the oldest, the average CEO is 59-years-old. CIOs were tied with chief human resources officers, while chief marketing officers and chief financial officers were only slightly younger at 54-years-old.
- CIOs have an average tenure of 4.6 years. CIOs in the energy sector have the longest average tenure at 5.3 years, while healthcare CIOs have the shortest tenure of 3.9 years on average.
The time when technology leaders were seen as geeks who kept email working is long gone. Mature companies across industries recognize the need for seasoned leaders in the CIO office to help shape long-term strategies.
CIOs went from being the second-youngest member of the C-suite in 2016 and 2017 (with an average age of 51), to now tying human resources execs as the second oldest.
An increase in the experience needed, as well as their central position in C-suite dynamics, can help explain the rise in the age of the average CIO.
"Today's CIOs are more strategic and central to the success of an organization," said Craig Stephenson, senior client partner and managing director of the Korn Ferry North American Technology Officers Practice, in a statement. "This is based on risk factors, size of budgets and reliance on the technology function at the enterprise level to enable business outcomes, data assets and customer engagement."
When it comes to broader goals within digital transformation strategy, more than half of organizations place the onus on CIOs rather than the C-suite as a whole. Pressure on CIO-led projects increases the need for longer tenured executives who can also serve as business partners.