The CTO position is occupied by people with diverse backgrounds, as is common to other executive positions like the CEO, COO, and CIO. Since the CTO position is often confused or interchangeable with the CIO position, and since both are relatively new to the executive ranks, it should be no surprise that the skill and background of the CTO is at least as diverse as that found in the CIO position. In studying the backgrounds, responsibilities, and missions of a number of CTOs we identified several distinct patterns of CTO. These patterns are driven by unique stages in business evolution and by the needs of specific industries. Separating these categories and associating them with a business phase or industry, sheds considerable light on references to the CTO in the trade press and corporate statements.
We have identified five dominant patterns of CTO. These are labeled the Genius, Administrator, Director, Executive, and Advocate. A brief intro to these categories can be seen in the figure below.
[Extracted from: "5 Patterns of the Chief Technology Officer"