2009 CIO Hall of Fame Honorees

This year's Hall of Fame honorees shine with purpose and passion to advance the next generation of IT leaders.

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To help those around him, even his potential replacements, reach the next level, Ahmad from Duke University advises: "Take liberties." He always has. He would present a tech project to senior managers, he recalls of his early years, always making sure to explain how it related to a larger business context. He tells young and middle managers to be accountable for their work but also for improving the company. Taking ownership of projects beyond your job description can advance a budding career, he says. Bosses see that.

"They say, 'He's willing to take risks, to work with others in areas where people may not be comfortable with him,'" Ahmad notes.

Johns at Owens-Corning says he and CIO friends frequently discuss where they think the CIO profession is heading. IT has been on the forefront of shared services and he thinks the CIO role could expand to oversee all sorts of shared services at global companies, not just those related to technology. The best future CIOs will be smart, critical thinkers. "As global competition increases, as the focus on cost increases, as opportunities for technology to make a difference for a business increase," he says. "CIOs [will] expand their role. That's a very exciting career path."

After his 28 years in IT, Johns has honed his hiring criteria to three: People who get work done, know how to think and can communicate. "The tech side? We'll teach you that."

Contact Senior Editor Kim S. Nash at knash@cio.com.

Do you Tweet? Follow me on Twitter @knash99. Follow everything from CIO Magazine @CIOMagazine.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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