Companies look for tech background in CEO search

Traditionally, companies choosing a CEO pull from COO, CFO, divisional CEO or another management position leading a large business unit. However, Aug. 25 CNBC reporting suggests that companies are beginning to turn to candidates with a tech background.

Twitter made news when it appointed former chief technology officer Parag Agrawal to replace Jack Dorsey as CEO in 2021. However, while a CIO can transition to CEO in a tech-centric company, the senior managing director of the executive search practice at Robert Half, Ash Athawale, urges tech executives to diversify their skills if they wish to become a CEO.

"Sometimes technology folks are viewed as disruptors, but sometimes you don't need disruption," Mr. Athawale said. "A company might need strategic, thoughtful leadership; can that technology leader inject their primary functional expertise but also blend that into the business side and all things finance?"

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