Thursday, May 10, 2007

CFO and CEO as CIO ! Wow !

This has been an eventful week for me to say the least. I came across two instances of other CXOs moving to take a CIO role. This is a big paradigm shift from the earlier trend where the role of the CIO was rarely up for grabs within the enterprise with other peers wanting that job.

In the first instance, the CIO quit without appointing a successor. She was fairly successful with what she did to transform the IT setup and bring in technology which the business benefited from. Her abrupt departure put the CEO in a spot. Not having visibility into the IT Organization's talent, he decided to take on additional responsibility as the CIO to understand the team and hopefully appoint someone from within. Few months into the role, he is helping the group understand the role of the CIO and also conducting his own review of possibilities within the team. The option to hire from outside always existed. So far he is doing a reasonably good job of holding the technology fort :-)

In the other instance, the CIO moved to another role within the company, and one of the business unit CFOs has taken up the role of the CIO. That should be an interesting one to watch for. One of the edits of a publication mentioned the challenges faced by the business leaders when the CFO became the CEO; most of the leadership team departed over a period of time as the mindset transition did not happen along with the role.

Lastly an enterprise I know has been attempting to fill the CIO position for the last 6 months with little success. Another one has the position vacant now for more than 12 months ! What does this bear for the CIO ? Is the position really important for an enterprise ?

If yes, how can a company continue the direction set by the CIO, which they agreed to, forward ?

If no, then maybe we need to bring back Nicholas Carr back !