One in Four CIOs Fired for Performance

By Kim S. Nash, CIO |  IT Management, CIO, personnel

IS (148) HR (168) FINANCE (183) MFTG. (40) SALES (90)
Left voluntarily to pursue career opportunities elsewhere 40% 33% 29% 22% 35%
Left involuntarily due to performance 23% 19% 23% 8% 18%
Retired 11% 23% 20% 32% 16%
Promoted internally 10% 8% 12% 22% 16%
Left involuntarily due to restructuring / downsizing 5% 4% 3% 5% 3%
Left involuntarily due to misconduct 1% 3% 4% 0% 2%
Other 9% 11% 8% 10% 10%

And the bigger the company, the more likely the CIO will be dismissed--either fired or a victim of downsizing: 43 percent of IT heads at companies over $1 billion or more in sales left involuntarily, versus 29 percent at mid-market companies of $100 million to $1 billion and 23 percent at small companies of less than $100 million in sales. Of course, "poor performance" is open to interpretation, notes Greg Ambrose, president of Catalyst Search Group. "What a new CEO defines as poor might be exactly what the old CEO wanted," he says. The larger the organization, the more complex the issues, systems and politics, he adds.

One Out of Four CIOs Fired For Performance

Twenty-three per cent of IT heads are fired for poor performance, according to the HR executives we surveyed. CIOs at large companies are more likely to be fired or to become victims of downsizing; 43 percent of large company IT heads left involuntarily, versus 23 percent of small company CIOs and 29 percent of mid-market CIOs. Small and mid-market IT heads are more likely than their large company counterparts to leave in pursuit of other opportunities.

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