by Meridith Levinson

What It Takes to Get Promoted

Dec 01, 20052 mins

CIOs who want to move up the ladder into another senior executive role within their company need to be recognized as businesspeople, not technologists.

According to Rich Brennen, global leader in the CIO practice of executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, a new assignment depends on whether the CIO is viewed as a contributor to the business—that is, participating in strategic business decisions, speaking up during the CEO’s staff meetings, and generally being recognized by the CEO and his executive peers as an equal partner. Based on the credentials of CIOs who have been given new titles or responsibilities recently, an IT executive must also oversee at least one major technology initiative that has a positive impact on the business.

Before John Deane was promoted last spring from executive VP and CIO at Wendy’s to executive VP of the fast-food chain’s America operations, he oversaw store budgeting, store automation and electronic payment initiatives. By going paperless, Wendy’s says it saved $1.7 million between February 2004 and February 2005.

Gerald Gluscic’s promotion at copper producer Phelps Dodge recognizes the improvements he’s made to business processes as well as his success with the company’s technology standardization and data warehouse implementation. Gluscic, formerly the VP and CIO, became VP of global supply chain management and information services in October.

Also in October, Walgreen’s Trent Taylor was promoted from senior VP and CIO to executive VP and CIO. CEO David Bernauer says Taylor brings ’intelligence, creativity and a calm manner” to the job. Bernauer credits Taylor with building a talented staff that helps the company maintain its position as a retail IT leader.

Meanwhile, Raj Datt, Panasonic Automotive Systems’ CIO, became a VP of the manufacturer. Datt transformed the company’s IT department. He led the consolidation of the company’s e-mail systems, implemented a new ERP system and staffed a 24/7 help desk. Datt also introduced collaboration tools such as instant messaging and Six Sigma processes within the IT department.