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The rise of the chief technology officer

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Good Morning.

Something interesting new research from IBM Today shows how much the C-Suite has changed over the past decade. Around 3,000 global CEOs were asked to say who would play the most important role for the company in the C-suite over the next two to three years. The best answer – after the Chief Operating Officer (57%) and the Chief Financial Officer (52%) – was the Chief Technology Officer (36%). Positions such as Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Strategy Officer all fell into the single digits.

This is a big change from similar – but not exactly comparable – surveys the company conducted in 2013 and 2015, which showed that the Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer came after COO and CFO Held pole positions.

What happened? IBM’s Mark Foster said this reflected a change in the way companies think about digital transformation. Back then, people thought it was just about the front of the business. It was very much about projecting the modernity of your company outwards. “But today,” digitization has returned to the core of people’s business … and requires a fundamental rethink of business. ” Regarding the death of the chief strategy officer in today’s world, Foster says, “The CEO must become the chief strategy officer.”

Separately, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda plans to announce today that his company has completed the B Corp certification process Danone, Ben and Jerry and Patagoniawho put social and ecological goals at the center of their activities. Maggioncalda said he was an economist at Stanford in the 1980s and then accepted the notion that companies should focus on shareholder return first and foremost. However, since then he has come to the conclusion that “business as an institution has a role to play in moving society forward”. And given younger workers’ desire to join companies that give them meaning, “it’s really good business too.”

Maggioncalda predicts that more companies will take the B Corp path because “You can attract, motivate and retain top talent. It becomes the basis of competition. “

More news below. Make sure to check out this week’s Leadership Next podcast.Apple/.Spotify– Giving you a special place in our recent discussion with the likes of Albert Bourla from Pfizer, Mary Barra from GM and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.

Alan Murray
@ Alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com

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