Chief Information Officer

The best CIOs have the strategic insight to leverage technology’s power and potential. Such leaders are the exception rather than the rule.

Chris Patrick

Chris Patrick Practice Group Leader, Dallas

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In important respects, an outstanding Chief Information Officer resembles an outstanding CEO – a business leader with strategic insight and ability. He or she will grasp technology’s future power and potential, not just the intricacies of today’s applications, and is therefore capable of harnessing IT investments to transform a business or even create an entirely new one. Yet such leaders are the exception, not the rule. Only a small percentage of CIOs have all the strategic skills to excel at the top.

Egon Zehnder’s global Chief Information Officer (CIO) Practice is dedicated to finding that exceptional individual for you: Leaders who can not only deliver efficient IT services, but also combine strategic capability with market insight, commercial awareness, and change-leadership skills to drive sustainable value creation.

Deep Expertise

Each consultant in our worldwide practice brings strong industry and functional experience and access to a global pool of talent. In a market in which the supply of top-flight Chief Information Officers falls short of demand, this puts us in a unique position to support your search, enabling us to identify, assess, and attract best-in-class IT talent for your company. To assist our clients with their progressively formidable security challenges, we have created a team specialized in Cyber Security talents.

Whether you are a global multinational or a start-up, and whatever your industry, we will bring all our resources and insights to bear to help you find innovative solutions.

Collaborative Approach

The consultants in our Practice work as your partners to assemble and develop world-class leadership teams. Referencing our globally researched benchmarks, we help you pinpoint your ideal leaders’ demonstrated leadership competencies, personality traits, and behavioral characteristics, so you can objectively benchmark internal and external candidates against the same rigorously defined standard. Significantly, we can also help you assess leadership potential – using a unique methodology that helps you anticipate how your rising leaders will perform in new and more demanding executive roles – to help you create more accurate and reliable leadership development and succession plans.

Personal, Global Search

When the candidate profile calls for external search, our consultants personally and confidentially engage their local and global relationships and Egon Zehnder colleagues to identify candidates prepared to meet your needs. All of our consultants are motivated via our equal partnership structure and fixed-fee pricing policy to work on your behalf. The power of this trusted network places the insight and resources of our entire firm at each consultant’s fingertips, making our solutions richer and more responsive, and creating tangible and enduring business impact for our clients. Your search consultants are supported by a dedicated team of researchers who simultaneously assess your requirements through our global database, which continually tracks top executive and director talent worldwide. Through this rigorous process, we closely examine candidates who demonstrate a potential match, analyzing critical incidents in their careers for insights into how they might navigate the challenges they would face in your targeted role.

Crucial Connections

We are in close contact with top technology leaders in each geography. We know who can meet your evolving needs, and how to attract them to your company. As we move deeper into conversation with interested, well-qualified candidates, we conduct interviews grounded in our sophisticated and rigorously validated leadership Competency and Potential Model. Our evaluation encompasses far more than the customary professional track record check and referencing. We methodically surface the candidate’s full range of capabilities, personal tendencies, and behavioral characteristics, gain penetrating insights into their readiness to perform in the targeted leadership role, and assess how smoothly candidates would integrate into your organization and culture.

Recent executive search assignments for Chief Information Officers include:

  • The CISO for a top five global enterprise software company
  • Head of IT Security for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company
  • Board Director for a fast growing cybersecurity company
  • Head of Information Security for a British luxury fashion house
  • CISO for one of the three credit bureaus

Trust-based Negotiation

Our consultants develop trust-based relationships with candidates, gaining a close understanding of their requirements and concerns. So as your search progresses toward the hiring phase we are ready to serve as problem solvers and facilitators. Our fixed-fee policy ensures that we can play this sensitive role with no conflict of interest.

Accelerated Integration

Our value add does not end with a successful hire. For newly appointed senior executives, the first few weeks and months in the role are critical. They must quickly understand the organization’s culture, set the right priorities, and establish credibility with colleagues and stakeholders. Our Accelerated Integration service speeds your new executive’s journey to full impact. We start supporting executives well before “Day One” in a new role – ideally, as soon as the appointment decision is made. Working in collaboration with the hiring manager and the HR manager, we help your executive build an accurate and insightful picture of the upcoming integration challenge, making the keys to leadership success vividly clear and crafting a plan to hit the ground running. We also work personally with the welcoming leadership team as well as the executive to quickly cultivate interpersonal trust and open dialogue. Through the first 90 days, our consultants gather and distill candid feedback on the first impressions the executive is creating during the initial integration. We meet one-on-one with the executive at regular intervals – creating “islands of time” to allow them briefly to set aside all-consuming operational priorities, reflect on progress, identify and prioritize early wins, and calibrate their approach as needed.

Executive Assessment and Development

Beyond executive search, we offer Executive Assessment and Development services designed to help you link specific talent management effort directly to your business strategy. Our proprietary approach to Executive Assessment and Development includes appraisals and benchmarking of your senior managers’ competencies, experience, and growth potential. We assess 10,000 executives a year in this way, working with you to develop your leaders, maximize the effectiveness of your senior teams, and plan and support succession for key roles. Our focus on Diversity and Inclusion helps you nurture diversity at the board and executive level – and translate it into business value.

Assured Results

We pride ourselves on the fact that most of our client relationships are long-term. We can only achieve this by being consistently effective, responsive to your specific needs, and committed to your ongoing success. Our goal across all our services is to help you make better people decisions for critical roles, systematically increase your leaders’ readiness to take on bigger challenges, build a sustainable talent pipeline, and ensure that your leadership teams have the diverse strengths required to create competitive advantage.

Chris Patrick

Chris Patrick Practice Group Leader, Dallas

See all Consultants in this Practice

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