Optimizing the CEO–CIO Relationship

Author's note: I asked my friend Beverly Lieberman to share her thoughts about the evolving CEO-CIO relationship, and she wrote the following excellent chapter. Beverly is president of Halbrecht Lieberman Associates, Inc., an internationally recognized executive search firm founded in 1957 as Halbrecht Associates. The firm provides retained executive search services across multiple industries while specializing in information technology. Beverly has a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Michigan and graduated from the prestigious M.I.T. Sloan School Executive Management Program.


To a large extent, the success or failure of a CIO is determined by the quality of his or her working relationship with the CEO and the rest of the C-suite. It's important for CEOs to understand that the tone they set when dealing with the CIO makes a huge difference and can have a significant impact on the success of the company itself.

Making a Strategic Contribution

In our hyperconnected and rapidly evolving digital economy, the quality of the CEO-CIO relationship plays a vital role in the CIO's effectiveness and ultimate success as a strategic contributor.

But there are obstacles to overcome. For example, CIOs have not traditionally reported to CEOs, which means that CEOs have more experience managing other senior executives such as the CFO, the CMO, and the COO. Additionally, CIOs generally rise from the technical ranks as opposed ...

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