From CIO to CEO: 8 tips for taking your career to the top

Consultants and business executives have fallen in love with the aphorism, “Every company is becoming a technology company” or a variation thereof. Some companies are taking that line a step further by hiring CIOs as CEOs.

Tapping IT leaders as head honchos does not yet qualify as a trend, says Khalid Kark, managing director of Deloitte’s CIO program, but more companies may install CIOs as CEOs if they have led massive transformations in a short time. Digital-minded CIOs may be the only executives with experience managing the velocity of change required to help a business avoid disruption — or recover from it when it happens.

“With the right context and background, they’re not a bad candidate for driving the highest leadership position within the firm,” Kark says.

CIOs who wish to level up must also demonstrate they can handle operations, sales, marketing and, perhaps most importantly, business strategy. They must be multi-taskers, says Greg Carmichael who became Fifth Third Bank CEO and president in 2015 after working in CIO and COO roles at the company.

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