Pathways to the C-suite: CIO hopefuls look to level up

Today’s CIOs-in-waiting are taking charge of their career prospects by leading transformational projects, filling in experience gaps, and enlisting networks and coaches for opportunities and polish.

Andy Farella spent five years rising up the IT leadership ranks at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) — first as director of business applications and then associate CIO — when he started feeling restless.

“I was dealing with multiple aspects of the organization and involved with big projects, issues, and challenges,” Farella says. At the time he managed 125 people and was leading the technical side of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar ERP implementation. He reported to the CIO and had regular interaction with senior leadership. “I was starting to feel like I could do that job, the CIO role,” Farella says.

He knew he would first need to fill some experience gaps, so Farella wrote a list of all the skills and experience needed to become a CIO, and he started checking off the boxes…

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