Why are tech leaders leaving at such a high rate?

October 10, 2022

Nordstrom last week Announce Edmond Mesrobian, its chief technology and information officer since 2018, is stepping down, adding to the perception that IT executive turnover remains high.

Korn Ferry Ferries polls or The top 1,000 U.S. companies by revenue conducted at the end of 2016 found that in the five most senior positions (CEO, CFO, CHRO, CMO CIO), the average tenure of CIOs was 4.3 years, second only to CMOs at 4.1 years.

“The rapid pace of change and the growing scope of responsibilities reaffirms the importance of the CIO role,” said Craig Stephenson, senior client partner and managing director of the North American CIO/CTO practice. Korn Ferry at the time. “CIOs are constantly taking on challenges, and it’s not uncommon for CIOs to leave after a few years, not because of dissatisfaction, but because the challenges they set out to accomplish have been fulfilled, and other, potentially bigger opportunities await. “

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers polls, failure of major IT projects is one of the main reasons CIOs get fired.Cited reasons also include cumbersome genetic systems and Lack of support from key stakeholders.

According to the article CIO website, Forbes Elsewhere, strategic shifts and expanding responsibilities due to rapid technological change, skills shortages, lack of advancement and burnout are other factors in tech executive departures.

One Harvard Business Review Last year’s article concluded that the particularly high turnover rate of chief data officers was due to “ill-defined” roles and “high expectations and low capabilities” to rapidly deliver data transformations that can take years.

Among other retailers, companies like Starbucks, Walgreens, Kohl’s, CVS and Target have seen changes in their tech executive ranks this year. Nordstrom is looking for alternatives.

“We thank Edmond for his leadership and many contributions to our business, employees and customers,” CEO Erik Nordstrom said in a letter to employees: Women’s Wear Daily. “It is clear that we are in a much better position today than before he came. He has been a key contributor to building the architecture, infrastructure and resiliency we need to be a digital-first company.”

Discussion question: What is the reason for the significantly higher turnover of CTOs, CIOs, and other IT executives? What do you think are the solutions to support longer tenures, or are short stays inevitable?

think tank

“When the technology proves its worth when used by the company, tenure can be extended by providing financial incentives for significant bonuses or incentives.”


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