Friday, January 18, 2008

CEOs second act holding the reigns

“Second Acts: Why CEOs Get Them And CIOs Don't”

Starbucks' CIO Brian Crynes Leaves Amidst Management Shake Up
Replacing Crynes in the CIO role is Chris Bruzzo, who was named acting CIO in addition to vice president and CTO—a new position inside the company. Bruzzo reports to Starbucks' COO Martin Coles. As part of the company's renewed focus on its customers, Bruzzo is responsible for coming up with ways to connect with customers, including loyalty programs, that use technology

Last week's Howard Schultz's returned to the helm of Starbucks as CEO. "Second Acts" is fairly common for CEO's. In 2007 Michael Dell was welcomed back to the c-suite to revitalize Dell's growth. Charles Schwab reinstalled as CEO in July 2004, after having stepped down as CEOP 14 months earlier in May 2003.

Second acts are not common for CIOs or any C-level exec ...

Retired CEOs get called back because of their exposure and accountability to shareholders. It's much less common for other C-level execs whether CIO, CFO or COO, to be brought back because shareholders don't associate them with corporate success.

"If the CEO leaves and the company's stock suffers, the shareholders view that person as the savior who needs to return,"

Other reasons why CIOs are much less likely to entertain second acts than CEOs:

1. CIOs are literally out of touch with the business. A CIO who moves to a new company no longer has his finger on the pulse of his old employer. By contrast, a CEO who steps down from his post often remains on board as the company's chairman and thus maintains his association with the business and its challenges. A CIO who's left the company does not have the same knowledge of the company that the CEO-turned-chairman has and therefore does not have the same ideas and ability to impact the company as the CEO.

2. CIOs are often responsible for their own succession planning, but CEOs are not. Groce says boards of directors often view selecting the next CEO as their responsibility. So if a new CEO doesn't work out, the board may beg the chairman to return to the CEO role. If a departing CIO appoints a successor who fails to measure up, that CIO will be viewed as having failed in his succession planning duties, and thus the management team with which he worked may not be inclined to invite him back to the table, says Groce.

3. Moving back into the CIO role can feel like a demotion. A CIO who moves into a new role with his company may not want to go back to the CIO role, even if the management team pleads with him to do so and considers him to be a knight in shining armor.

1 comment:

Tom Atherton said...

There's a huge gap between being CEO and other CXO's in a company. I think it would be harder for the CIO to comeback, you'll never see CEO take on another role within the company but its often happens for other CXO roles following a reshuffle