Anatomy of a CIO: Executive Search Partner reveals all

A leading CIO executive headhunter reveals what it takes to succeed at the top, what CEOs need from their technology executives and how to land a NED role.



Caroline Sands is the head of CIO and technology executive practice at Odgers Berndston, a leading executive search firm. In the UK at least, Caroline has one of the widest networks of technology leaders, and has placed numerous CIO and CTO roles across the FTSE 250 business network. Few people understand the role, its requirements and its pitfalls, like Caroline.

She is an Executive Search Consultant with a successful track record spanning 16 plus years recruiting Transformation Technology and Digital Leaders. Her focus lies across Core focus: Digital transformation - CTO, CIO and CDO; Cyber Security/Chief Information Security Officer (CISO); Strategic IT Leaders - Engineering, DevOps, Strategy & Architecture, Software and Product Development; and Change and Transformation Programme Director.

As the CIO role evolved, and CEOs began to demand more business-centric technology professionals, Caroline Sands and her team sought more from their clients, and doubled down on the new needs of the business. This natural evolution—borne from the era of transformation—has made CIOs one of the most important roles in any business now, increasing its risks in parallel.

In this interview with, Caroline expands upon her role in more detail, qualifying who the CIO is today, what's needed of them from a CEO perspective, and where they should start looking if becoming a NED is part of their career plan.

This interview with Caroline Sands was originally recorded for The Summit, a event for technology leaders.

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