Tuesday, 04 June 2013 16:03

Fortune 500 CIO Appointments – Promoted or Hired Externally?

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We find differences between insider CIOs and those who join the company to assume the role. 56% of the CIOs were insiders, 44% newly joined. Note that we group with the insider CIOs two executives who made lateral moves into the role from running business units, as well as a CFO who assumed the CIO responsibility when the CIO role was eliminated.

Figure 9: Insider vs. Outsider by Gender

Insider vs. Outsider by Gender

Insider CIOs are overall a little younger than outsiders, and insider CIOs hold more advanced degrees, including MBAs. Strikingly, 70% of the female CIOs were insiders; only 30% joined. Among the males, 52% were outsiders, and 48% were insiders. This difference likely reflects the fact that women tend to be less inclined to job hop, even for a promotion. It could also be that fewer women are selected, even when they do chose to participate in an external selection process.

Larger companies are apt to promote from within. They have more staff to choose from and more developmental opportunities to offer, thus more inside candidates. As mentioned, there are no differences to speak of in the reporting structure for insiders vs. outsiders.

Figure 10: Insider vs. Outsider by Company Size

Insider vs. Outsider by Company Size

The insiders show an interesting distribution of tenures with their companies. There are three pronounced groupings at 0-5 years, 11-15, and over 20. The third represents the promotion of executives who have worked their way up through the ranks, which is common among larger companies. The middle group contains high-potential executives who have proven their capability and are ready for the next step. The short-tenure group contains some executives recruited from outside to be mentored, groomed and proven before advancing to the CIO role. More than half of these executives have tenures of less than two years, so they have much in common with the outsider CIOs. Hiring a CIO understudy makes sense when the new CIO is making a big step up; highly experienced CIOs would typically not be interested in the arrangement.

Figure 11: Years of Tenure of Insider CIOs

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

Read 19707 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 August 2020 09:53
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including 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 also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.

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


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