How CIOs Can Stake a Bigger Claim in the Business

For CIOs, it is never clear what might be the next step in their career trajectory. In the case of Allianz Global Assistance’s Jay Levine, the jump was from CIO to COO, and he has learned a lot from the experience. Peter High interviews Jay Levine for CIO Insight about those takeaways.


Levine finds that there are three ways through which the CIO can elevate to a role like COO. The first part is truly understanding the internal mechanics of the business and what it is trying to deliver. A market and customer perspective of the business must be built. Second, and unsurprisingly, CIOs need to be willing to talk to a lot of people:

I came in through the software development ranks and I was one of those guys for many years who just sat there and pounded code and did not have to interact with a whole lot of folks. You have to want to be part of the fabric of the business. You have to partner with your stakeholders and extend yourself and be willing to participate in business activities that are not just in your division. It is not just enough to say, “Yeah, I know, it’s not my problem.” There are a lot of opportunities in most businesses, especially as you get into a more senior role, to step into things a little out of your comfort zone.

The last part of the equation then is just having the tenacity to vie for a higher position. Anyone who has their eye on a role such as COO needs to make his or her superiors perfectly aware of it. If you do not ask, you do not receive.

At the full interview, Levine describes how he handles much of his work at Allianz and what innovation means to him in that context. You can read it here:

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