Career ambitions: CIOs create new paths for leveling up

The CIO post is increasingly seen as a stepping stone to other senior operational and excutive roles. So what does it take to move up in the C-suite today?

As a former programmer and mainframe systems admin, Kerry Stover’s eventual rise to CIO is hardly out of the ordinary. IT execs have made that leap since the inception of the position itself.

But Stover’s subsequent moves to entrepreneur and chief operating officer stand out.

“I wanted to be involved in running companies, and not in supporting the running of companies,” he says of his career path.

Stover was the CIO for a hardware maker from 2000 to 2003, which had followed a 19-year stint with Accenture in IT-related consulting. After being CIO, he became principal and co-owner of a market research service firm for four years. He then took on the COO role at Pariveda Solutions in 2008, a position he still holds.

Stover’s path remains the exception, with most CIOs continuing to advance their careers by moving into bigger, more impactful CIO positions.

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