From CIO to CEO: 10 tips for taking your career to the top

CIOs turned presidents and CEOs discuss their rise to the top and offer insights for IT leaders considering similar leaps.

From CIO to CEO: 8 tips for leveling up
MATJAZ SLANIC / Getty Images

Businesses have fallen in love with the aphorism, “Every company is becoming a technology company," owing to the importance of digital capabilities. Some companies are taking that idea a step further by hiring CIOs as CEOs.

Tapping IT leaders as head honchos may not yet be a trend, but more companies may install CIOs as CEOs if they have led massive transformations, says Khalid Kark, managing director of Deloitte’s CIO program. 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 eyeing the top spot on the corporate totem pole must also be Swiss-Army knife leaders, who can run every level of the business, including sales, operations and business strategy. But don’t take it from us.

Here three former CIOs share their paths to the top and offer tips for CIOs with an eye on leveling up.

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