Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The rise of the Chief Technology Officer

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Hello.

Some interesting new IBM research today shows how much the C-Suite has changed over the past decade. Some 3,000 global CEOs were asked to say who in the C-Suite would play the most critical role for the organization over the next two to three years. The main answer – after the COO (57%) and CFO (52%) – was the CTO (36%). Positions such as chief innovation officer, chief digital officer, and chief strategy officer have all fallen to single digits.

This is a big change from similar – but not exactly comparable – surveys the company conducted in 2013 and 2015, which showed the chief strategy officer, chief marketing officer, and chief innovation officer to occupy the top positions. poles, after COO and CFO.

What happened? Mark Foster, of IBM, said this reflects a shift in the way companies view digital transformation. At the time, “people thought this was the front end of the business. It was essentially about projecting the modernity of your company to the outside world. But today, “digitization has returned to the heart of people’s business … requiring a fundamental overhaul of the company”. As for the disappearance of the chief strategy officer, Foster says that in today’s world, “the CEO has to become the chief strategy officer.”

Separately, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda plans to announce today that his company has completed the process to become a Certified B Corp – joining the ranks of companies like Danone, Ben and Jerry and Patagonia, which place social and environmental objectives at the heart of their operations. Maggioncalda said he was an economics specialist at Stanford in the 1980s, then accepted the idea that companies should focus primarily on shareholder performance. But since then, he has concluded that “the business as an institution has a role to play in moving society forward”. And given the desire of young workers to join companies that give them purpose, “this is also a very good deal.”

Maggioncalda predicts that more companies are going the B Corp route because “you can attract, motivate and retain top talent. This will become the basis of competition.

More news below. And don’t forget to tune in to this week’s Leadership Next podcast –Apple/Spotify– in which you get a special spot in our recent chat with Albert Bourla from Pfizer, Mary Barra from GM and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.

Alan murray
@alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com



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