Can a stint as a chief technology officer groom you for a future slot as a CIO? Yes, say executive recruiters, a CTO job can teach you not only about technology but also about strategy and alignment, and communication in the C-level suite.\n\nIn companies where the CIO plays a highly strategic role and focuses on building relationships with other executives, a CTO\u2019s charge is often to support the CIO by identifying the best technologies available to execute and enable business strategy, says Jim Bond, managing director of executive search firm Horton International. \u201cAs a general rule, the CTO reports to the CIO,\u201d he says. At software firms, the reverse may apply. \n\nFor the two executives to work effectively together, the CIO has to regularly convey the business strategy and direction to the CTO; otherwise the CTO can\u2019t do his job. With consistent communication between the two execs, the CTO post can be a good training stop for aspiring CIOs, says Bond. So if you pursue a CTO role, seek out a boss who collaborates well.\n\nSeveral CTOs have moved into the CIO post recently. Among them: Dave Egbert was promoted to CIO of insurance provider Markel Corp. in December 2006. Egbert succeeds and reports to former CIO John Latham, who was appointed senior VP of operations.\n\nAlso in December, Certain Software promoted Jonathan Dodson to CIO and hired Michael Winner as its new CTO. Winner reports to Dodson. \n\nRaymond Ouellette landed the CIO role at Forbes.com in May 2006, after serving as Thompson Media\u2019s CTO. He\u2019s accountable to Forbes.com General Manager Michael Smith. \n\nLast February, InterContinental Hotels Group named Tom Conophy CIO, reporting to CEO Andrew Cosslett. Conophy previously served as Starwood Hotels\u2019 executive VP and CTO.