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CIO Succession - Where CIOs Report

Over the years, CIOs have tended to report higher in the organization, often to the CEO, and to play more influential roles on their executive teams. Our data confirms that trend. 43% report to the CEO or President, and 30% to a senior operations executive, such as the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, or Global Technology Officer. 27% report to the CFO, which is more of a historically traditional appointment.

The companies under $10B in revenue are evenly distributed across the three CIO reporting relationships, and larger companies are more likely to have CIOs report to the CEO/President. However, there are significant differences by gender. Male CIOs are more likely to report to the CEO/President than female CIOs, who are more likely report to the operations executive, especially in the largest and smallest of our company segments. CIOs under age 50 are also more likely to report to the CEO/President. Our population is not large, but 70% of the ethnic minority CIOs, including all three African-Americans, report to the CEO/President.

Figure 7: Reporting Structure by Gender and Company Size

Reporting Structure by Gender and Company Size

We find no differences in reporting structure for insiders vs. outsiders. However, among insider CIOs, those with relatively short tenure with the company (ten years or less) are more likely to report to an operations officer, while those with very long tenure (over 20 years) are more likely to report to the CFO. Interestingly, CIOs whose backgrounds and experience are primarily in other business functions-not in IT-are significantly more likely (62%) to report to the CEO/ President. These may be cases where the CEO seeks to inject greater business orientation into the IT organization and where the IT role may be a stepping-stone for business executives.

Figure 8: Reporting Structure by Business vs. IT Background

Reporting Structure by Business vs. IT Background

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