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What motivates C-suite execs to seek new jobs



Dive Brief:

  • Two in 5 C-suite executives say they’re at least somewhat likely to look for a different role, according to a Skillsoft report published Wednesday. The company surveyed nearly 8,000 IT leaders, including 213 C-level executives such as CIOs, CTOs and CEOs. 
  • Company performance, higher compensation and a lack of work-life balance are among the top factors that could push executives to explore potential roles outside their current employers, Skillsoft found. 
  • Executives are watching for professional development opportunities within their organization. Nearly half of executives cite opportunity for growth as a factor that may lead them to a new role in their current companies. Promotions, better use of skill sets and increase in compensation also motivate internal switches.

Dive Insight:

Technically savvy C-suite leaders are hard to come by, as are workers with technology expertise.The status of IT leaders as coveted professionals shows up in the paystub, as salaries for CIOs, CTOs and VPs of IT grew 8.4% year over year in 2022, compared to 2.3% for tech roles overall, according to Dice data.

“Organizations should invest in the growth and development of their entire IT staff – which can combat turnover at all levels and ensure tech teams are producing at an optimal level to drive business growth and modernization,” said Apratim Purakayastha, chief product and technology officer at Skillsoft, in an email. 

Leaders can also benefit from ongoing professional development programs within the organization, and can play a role in retaining talent at the C-suite level, according to Purakayastha.

Though the C-suite is expanding, and new roles focused on other areas of the business have entered the boardroom, CIOs continue to influence company operations.

That’s why CIO departures, especially unplanned ones, can cause operational disruptions. Companies then turn inward to look for suitable replacements. 

“When it comes time to potentially backfill a C-level IT role, it’s usually better and more efficient to promote talent from within, as those employees are already familiar with the business and its underlying technology,” said Purakayastha. 

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