Chief Technology Officer
The CTO oversees and regulates tech product selection. Some CTOs will also play a role in hiring new IT employees and in choosing vendors. While many CTOs have ten or more years of experience in the computer industry, the majority of them are not hands-on when it comes to programming, nor do they work directly with the developers. Instead, the CTO leads from the top down, sharing his or her technological vision with middle management while ensuring product performance, quality, and reliability. As a senior leader, he or she is likely to report directly to the Chairman and CEO.
Some CTOs are hired specifically for their platinum rolodexes of business contacts. Others are hired for their management experience, proven leadership abilities, or budget balancing expertise. Almost all of them will have 5+ years of experience in IT management. In addition, the CTO will have a sound understanding of whatever technologies his or her particular company relies upon, from database management, to software development, to Internet security, to network infrastructure. A proven managerial track record, entrepreneurial instincts, and customer focus comprise a CTO's mainstay.