Top CIO career paths for

Several career trends emerged in 2005 that are poised to pick up steam during the coming year. Here’s a recap of those trends and some of the IT executives appointed in the past year who are blazing new trails.

1. More top IT execs will report to the CEO. This trend reverses an earlier trend toward CIOs reporting to CFOs. Phil Wiser became Sony Corp. of America’s senior VP and CTO, reporting to Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer. Jacquelyn Barretta was promoted to VP and CIO of logistics company CNF. She reports to CEO Douglas Stotlar. And Michael Saunders, who became CIO of apparel manufacturer Kellwood, reports to Chairman and CEO Hal Upbin.

2. CIOs will take on extra responsibilities. There have always been a few CIOs with duties beyond IT. But it’s becoming more common. Marv Adams, Ford’s senior VP and CIO, added the title of corporate strategy officer to his business card. Meanwhile, Liz Claiborne’s CIO, John Sullivan, became senior VP of sourcing, service and systems, and Greif VP and CIO Ken Andre took on the role of corporate controller.

3. More CIOs will move into operations. Examples of this trend include Jeff Howkins, the onetime CIO of Mellon Institutional Asset Management, who joined Upromise Investments as its COO, and Ed Kamins, who went from CIO to chief operational excellence officer at Avnet.

4. CIOs will get to run business units. Running IT is recognized as good preparation for running a business. Paul Lanham, executive VP and CIO of Jones Apparel Group, was named CEO of HCL Technologies Retail Business Solutions, an IT services company owned by Jones. Visa CIO John Partridge serves as president and CEO of subsidiary Inovant.

5. CIOs will join boards of non-IT companies. Corporate boards are steadily appointing CIOs for their IT expertise. Among them: James Dallas, Georgia Pacific’s VP of information technology and CIO, who joined KeyCorp.’s board; Roy Lowrance, Capital One’s CTO and chief architect, now on Hooper Holmes’s board; and Roy Dunbar, president of global technology and operations for MasterCard International, who was appointed to Humana’s board.

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