One in Four CIOs Fired for Performance

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

Reason Top IT Executive Left Company by Revenue Total (148) <$100 Million (30) $100 Mil-$999.9 Mil (69) $1 Billion+ (37)
Left voluntarily to pursue career opportunities elsewhere 40% 47% 45% 24%
Left involuntarily due to performance 23% 23% 23% 30%
Left voluntarily to pursue career opportunities elsewhere 40% 47% 45% 24%
Left involuntarily due to performance 23% 23% 23% 30%
Left voluntarily to pursue career opportunities elsewhere 40% 47% 45% 24%
Left involuntarily due to misconduct 1% 0% 0% 5%
Other 9% 7% 10% 8%

Taking into account the many reasons someone leaves a job--including taking a new position or retiring--the turnover rate among CIOs is about the same as for other senior executives, the survey says. CIO tenure is six years and three months, the same as for heads of sales but less than HR heads (six years, four months) and CFOs (seven years).

Delta Dental parted with its CIO three years ago when he "left to pursue other interests," says Ed Zobeck, executive vice president of HR, operations, integration and facilities at the $2.3 billion dental plan group. Now the position has been eliminated. Then-CFO Laura Czelada took over IT while Delta sought a replacement, says Zobeck. She "did such a good job she retained the responsibility," he says. "We promoted someone to a vice president of IT position and they report to her." Delta Dental's former CIO could not be reached for comment. But still: Replaced by a CFO? We shudder on behalf of CIOs everywhere.

CIO Job Security Shows Some Cracks

While CIOs have been in their current jobs an average of 6 years, 4 months, almost a quarter of CIOs will be fired for performance reasons.

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