Tuesday, 04 June 2013 15:08

Fortune 500 CIO Succession – Who do CIOs Report to Now?

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Over the years, CIOs have tended to report higher in the organization, often to the CEO, and to play more influential roles on their executive teams. Our data confirms that trend. 43% report to the CEO or President, and 30% to a senior operations executive, such as the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, or Global Technology Officer. 27% report to the CFO, which is more of a historically traditional appointment.

The companies under $10B in revenue are evenly distributed across the three CIO reporting relationships, and larger companies are more likely to have CIOs report to the CEO/President. However, there are significant differences by gender. Male CIOs are more likely to report to the CEO/President than female CIOs, who are more likely report to the operations executive, especially in the largest and smallest of our company segments. CIOs under age 50 are also more likely to report to the CEO/President. Our population is not large, but 70% of the ethnic minority CIOs, including all three African-Americans, report to the CEO/President.

Figure 7: Reporting Structure by Gender and Company Size

Reporting Structure by Gender and Company Size

We find no differences in reporting structure for insiders vs. outsiders. However, among insider CIOs, those with relatively short tenure with the company (ten years or less) are more likely to report to an operations officer, while those with very long tenure (over 20 years) are more likely to report to the CFO. Interestingly, CIOs whose backgrounds and experience are primarily in other business functions-not in IT-are significantly more likely (62%) to report to the CEO/ President. These may be cases where the CEO seeks to inject greater business orientation into the IT organization and where the IT role may be a stepping-stone for business executives.

Figure 8: Reporting Structure by Business vs. IT Background

Reporting Structure by Business vs. IT Background


Click here to read the full report on Fortune 500 CIO Succession.

Read 7698 times Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 18:02
Dora Vell

Managing Partner

Dora Vell is the CEO of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston that recruits technology executives and board members for companies ranging from promising tech startups to Fortune 100 companies. Throughout her 22-year career in executive search, she has successfully completed hundreds of assignments, placing board members, CEOs, COOs, CIOs, technology officers, vice presidents and many other C-level executives. Vell’s clients span both private and public companies and her work has included searches in markets large and small across the U.S. and Canada.

Prior to founding Vell Executive Search in 2005, she was a partner at the executive search consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles for seven years. She started in the Technology Practice in the Toronto office, became the firm’s Technology Practice leader for Canada, and then joined the firm’s Boston office.

Before her career in executive search, Vell worked for 11 years at IBM Canada in software-related roles of increasing responsibility. She started as a software engineer, managed a software engineering team of 100, and then led software sales for IBM Canada. She holds seven worldwide software patents. This deep industry understanding has helped Vell Executive Search become a recognized leader in finding senior executive and board talent for software and SaaS companies.

Vell is a recognized industry thought leader who has published several reports on governance and leadership topics. She has been frequently quoted as an expert on executive and board leadership by outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, The OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell has been a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State University, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for Developmentally Handicapped Adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.

The trilingual daughter of a diplomat, Vell grew up in Canada, Greece, France, Switzerland and China. Her unique multicultural and international perspective, experiences as a woman in the male-dominated software field, and insights as a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen inform all her work for clients.

Vell received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a bachelor’s in Computer Science from Carleton University.  She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

Areas of Practice:

  • C-Level Technology Executives
  • CEOs, CROs, Heads of Sales, Heads of Marketing, Chief Product Officers
  • Technology Officers: CTOs, CIOs, Heads of Engineering, CISOs, Chief Data Officers
  • Board Directors
  • Diversity Executives and Board Directors
  • Canadian Executives and Board Directors

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