top of page
  • Writer's pictureTechDoQuest

Are Tech Leaders the new CEOs?

We live in a tech-driven world. We are no further from the reality of AI and robots taking over our world, the way it is often shown in the movies. Realizing this many companies are diving tech-first to expand their horizons and to be future-proof. As companies are shifting their focus to tech, the roles of C-suite executives are changing too.

A few years from now tech leaders and experts could not have even imagined to take the role of CEO which traditionally is business focused. But the landscapes of corporations have changed as technology is getting in the driver’s seat. Owing to these changes for many companies, especially tech companies, for Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Chief Security Officer (CSO), the natural next step in their career is taking on the roles of CEOs.

According to a Korn Ferry Survey, 51% surveyed said that CTO’s would like to become CEOs in the near future. If we are to take examples of CTOs turned CEOs, the very first CEO that comes to mind is Parag Agrawal. Parag Agrawal succeeded the Twitter founder Jack Dorsey as Twitter’s CEO in 2021 before the takeover by Elon Musk. He was involved in all the major and critical decisions and was heading the technical strategy, and the development of the company’s AI and machine learning.

Can every CTO become a successful CEO? If so, how? Every CTOs main focus is implementing technical strategy but they also need to focus on the business side of things to find success as a CEO. Here’s how they can bridge the gap from CTO to CEO.

Tech Expertise

As we know the tech world is developing and the only way to stay afloat in this tech driven world is to be tech-savvy. Knowing the digital skills of your employees, keeping track of what can be an alleged risk to the company through their deep technical knowledge. In a survey, it was found that 76% of CEOs surveyed said that they are concerned with their employees’ lack of digital skills.

So, as a CEO, they need to find solutions to these grave problems while also focusing on the revenue and business side of things. Thus, to say in short, CEOs that are tech-savvy will have the tools to call out vulnerabilities and take swift action and strategies to combat such vulnerabilities. One more advantage of their tech expertise is that they know the ins and outs of their products, (in case the product is a tech product). Having this knowledge by their side, makes it less hard if not easy, for them to make business decisions.

Leadership Qualities & Personality Traits

Having leadership qualities is an obvious must. Not everyone is cut from the same cloth. Thus, not all CTOs can become a CEO because not everyone has those qualities. A CEO needs to be open to new ideas and should act as an integral part of the company who represents the company’s vision to the board and stakeholders.

They also need to be a good networker, and create connections with top executives, government officials and other business tycoons to predict and collaborate with the external environment. Having a learning mindset is also crucial, because it allows them to experiment, learn and implement new ideas to take the company to its new heights.

Business-focused Leadership

CTOs are generally tech-focused and so, diverging into the business and marketing sides of things can take a little time. A CEOs work is very broad and it is to oversee every department that exists in the company. But, the majority of business decisions come down to budgeting, financing and financial forecasting to help them decide on their goals and strategies to reach those goals.

Transitioning from a CTO to a CEO is often a long hard road. One major differentiator between CTO and CEO is that CEOs have the full responsibility of the business while CTOs functions are limited to the technical functions they perform. CEOs have to make decisions which are for the benefit of the entire company.

To flatten the curve from CTO to CEO, self-educating and taking time to understand all the functions of the business, be it tech, business, risk or crisis management and product will help the future CEOs see the bigger picture and take logical and analytical leadership decisions towards success.

(Author: Karishma Chandnani is a Content Writer at TechDoQuest. She offers refreshing & youthful perspective to the topics she writes about)
bottom of page