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I have just recently been fired from a new firm which I helped "spin off" from a Fortune 10 company. After looking for info related to BAD CTOs, I came across an article on,39023731,20282457,00.htm which is a TechRepublic article.

The CTO in question has many of the characteristics of a "bad CTO", but here are some others which I came delt with recently...

I was dismissed by the new CTO, whom I interviewed, and gave a less than stellar review of to the COO. The CTO has good technical knowledge, but too many of his "habits" are reflected in your article.

My being dismissed was sparked by my disagreement with his management, and relationship skills. As part of a 5 person technology team, including the CTO, I would expect to be given all the proper admin privileges, passwords, access to hardware, given instruction and other pertinent information regarding the new infrastructure. But this CTO failed to provide any of these things. I was expected to support the network, desktop, and hardware without being given one ounce of information even three days after our opening. The issue was not that he was too busy, that doesn't wash as an excuse, but when confronted, his reply was, "that's none of your business" Why wasn't I told the only other support individual would not be in the next day to do an install at the CEO's home office?. When asked again why I wasn't told this, his reply was, "that's none of your business". Isn't communicating to your subordinates his responsibility?

Our new technology infrastructure was originally proposed to be around $1 million (US) for about a 60 user base, and an infrastructure which dealt with real-time market data, and trading software. The original proposal was from a respectable integration firm who are experts in this niche market. But he eventually dismissed the proposal and redesigned the entire infrastructure. The new infrastructure ballooned to around $2.5 million. Is roughly 2 users for every server really a good decision?

Should a CTO holler to another manager relating to a technology related question? I would guess not, but this CTO's way of explaining things to users is to over emphasis by yelling.

This CTO has no accountability to anyone due to his expertise in the field. The other officers in the organization will not, and have not challenged his thinking, decisions, or actions. What would be a good "checks and balances" to a situation to this kind or scenario?

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by awfernald In reply to BAD CTO

<shrug> you win some, you lose some. You say you interviewed your new CTO, and... sounds like you were right with your less than stellar review.

However, maybe the people with the money are willing to put up with him for some reason.

Better luck next time.

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by U_R_FIRED In reply to

True, you win some and lose some. But the part about the money , and management putting up with him is only due to the new infrastructure. Trying to rid someone who is "THE KEY" person risk is the reason management is not moving on the "known" issue. If the scenerio were not the same, and we were a well estalished company, the tide would be in my favor. I have done too much for this company not to hear my side, but they have not approched me. RememberI was hired by someone else than the CTO.

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Better off

by JamesRL In reply to BAD CTO

As I was laid off from my first tech job almost 20 years ago, the VP who laid me off said, it was the best thing that could happen to me, I was underpaid and could find better opportunities out there. And he was very right on that score.

I'm not of the "CIO/CTO" has to be able to do every job in the IT world mentality. But he should have some technical understanding. Given that - a CIO/CTO has to be able to lead and communicate. Its clear that from what little you tell us, thats not the case. Yelling is not acceptable. When I see a corporate officer yelling(as in that first job twenty years ago when the CEO yelled at sales people) I see a person out of control - that is scary.

And accountability - the CTO should be accountable to the other corporate officers for providing good service at a reasonable cost - and by over spending thats not the case.

But look at it as a learning experience. And look for something better. I'm not bitter about my experience back then because I learned alot.


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I Agree

by U_R_FIRED In reply to Better off

Thank you for seeing things from my point of view. I know it is a learning experience, and I have been in the industy for about 15 yrs myself. Everything I have done was by design, as in, I was expecting to be let go. I could not deal with the work environment any longer. So when I had no one to turn to, I took it upon myself to confront him directly.

I am definetly better off, and can find an assignments (already had offers), but feel sorry for the users whom I was very close too, have to deal with this individual. Hey, I guess that is life.

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Wait for the disaster

by BFilmFan In reply to BAD CTO

When the tidal wave hits and they call you up, agree to come back as an independent consultant on a fixed number of hours, no-fire contract.

If they balk, politely tell them, "It's your boat. Say hello to Edward John Smith for me." When they ask who this is, say, "Captain of the Titanic."

Best of luck finding a place that appreciates you!

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Awaiting the Tsunami

by U_R_FIRED In reply to Wait for the disaster

LOL... I am waiting for a Tsunami to hit, but need it to only hit the CTO, not the Users. They will see what I was talking about, this leopard can't change his spots.

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Another One of the Bad Characteristics

by A_dangerous_mind In reply to BAD CTO

I would like to add another that I have seen:

STIFLING CAREER GROWTH AND PROGRESSION: I left a major corporation years ago after the CIO froze hiring, transfers and promotions. His explanation was that it was necessary for the corporation, and think about your career some other time. The corporation lost many good IT people over the next few months as those of us who were trapped in the same position for an extended period of time and were burning out looked outside the company for better situations. I left for a better position and a much better company. After I was gone, I learned that he was forced to resign, with very little regret by the people in his organization.

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