The majority (54 per cent) of Fortune 100 CIOs are internally promoted, with 39 per cent of them having spent 16 years or more with their organisation before being promoted.
The statistics come from research conducted by consultancy firm Russell Reynolds Associates, which analysed the backgrounds, profiles and career paths of all enterprise CIOs in the Fortune 100.
Some 37 per cent of internally promoted CIOs had spent between four and 16 years at the company prior to being promoted, and 24 per cent had spent between one and three years at their company before being promoted.
Meanwhile, 25 per cent of external CIOs have graduate degrees from the top 25 US business schools compared to only seven per cent of internally promoted CIOs. Fifty two per cent of external recruits have prior CIO experience, compared to 22 per cent of internal recruits.
The prior industry exposures for CIOs vary significantly for each industry, with aerospace and defence CIOs having only worked for firms within that particular industry or the automotive industry. Retail CIOs, on the other hand, have experience from as many as 10 different industries including healthcare, transport and financial services.
Gender diversity is stronger within the Fortune 100 than the Fortune 500. There is a near three-to-one ratio of male CIOs to female CIOs in the Fortune 100, while the number of female CIOs in the Fortune 500 only equates to 17 per cent. The report states that there has been a 13 per cent increase in sitting female Fortune 100 CIO roles in the past three years, compared to the previous period.
While only 20 per cent of female CIOs hold undergraduate engineering or computer science degrees, 40 per cent of their male counterparts hold degrees in these fields. However, female CIOs are more likely to hold advanced degrees in these fields.
As for ethnic diversity among CIOs, only seven per cent of CIOs in the Fortune 100 are non-white, while in the Fortune 500 the proportion is slightly higher, at 10.5 per cent.