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The real fate of the CTO

A reader writes that future managers, including CEO's, will need the qualifications of today's CTO.


The real fate of the CTO

In response to the May 17 Perspectives column by Charles Geoly, "Why the traditional CTO is history":

A good story by Charles Geoly--that is as far as it goes.

The CTO is indeed going to be history in the near future, but not because the world is changing. It is management needs that are changing. In the technology industries, a manager with a degree in business administration is no longer adequate. For that industry--and soon for all industries--a manager needs not only business-administration savvy but also needs a great deal of technology savvy. Future managers, including CEO's, will need the qualifications of today's CTO. Those who do not will be under a severe handicap as will the business they manage.

It is not adequate to have a technology expert tell you which decision is best. The manager of the future must be able to recognize which technological decision is best. The time for managers jumping from one type of industry to another is drawing to a close. We are in the age of specialization whether we like it or not. As always, those with the broadest experience will tend to outperform their lesser brethren. But even so, technology industries will become ever more specialized as the years go by.

Dennis Reiley
Flint, Mich.



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