The MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award

Congratulations to the 2015 CIO Leadership Award Finalists! The Winner will be announced on May 20.


The winner of the 2015 CIO Leadership Award is:

  • CIO Schindler Group & CEO Schindler Digital Business Ltd.
    Schindler Group

The 2015 Award Finalists Are:


The winner of the 2014 CIO Leadership Award is:

The 2014 Award Finalists Are:


The winner of the 2013 CIO Leadership Award is:

The Finalists were:


The winners of the 2012 Award for Innovation Leadership were:

The Finalists were:


The winner of the 2011 Award for Innovation Leadership was:

The Finalists were:


The winners of the 2010 Award for Innovation Leadership were:

The Finalists were:


The winner of the 2009 Award for Innovation Leadership was:

The Finalists were:


The winner of the 2008 Award for Innovation Leadership was:

The Finalists were:


Award Co-Chair George Westerman presents the 2015 CIO Leadership Award to Michael Nilles, Schindler Group

The 2015 MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award honors Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who lead their organizations by delivering business value and innovative use of IT in exceptional ways.

The Award, in its eighth year, draws applicants from a wide diversity of industries, countries, and backgrounds. Recipients, and their organizations, receive broad recognition for their accomplishments.


  • Nominees must hold the title of Chief Information Officer (CIO) or equivalent. They must be the highest-level IT leader in the organization.
  • Applicants are welcome from for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, with all assessed on a common set of criteria.
  • Applicants must present accomplishments related to the applicant's current position.
  • Finalists will be expected to attend the Symposium in person.

Application Timeline

Applications for the 2015 Award are now closed. If you have submitted an application, you should have received a confirmation, and should expect to hear from us again in April. If you were unable to submit an application for this year's Award, we expect applications for next year to open in early January 2016. If you would like to be notified when the application opens, simply subscribe to our newsletter by providing your email address on the home page.

Finalists will be announced in a press release in late April. The winner will be announced in a press release on the day of the Symposium.

Finalists will formally recognized at a private event the evening before the Symposium on May 19, 2015.

Application Process

You can complete the application online, over several sessions, saving your draft content. Once you are satisfied with your application, we ask you to submit your final application. You will be sent a copy of your final submission.

 information about the Award.

2015 Award Winner Michael Nilles with Finalists Hervé Coureil, Pablo Ciano, and Peter Nichol


All award content, including the identity of applicants, will be held in strict confidence and used only by the award judges in the judging process.

Judging Criteria

Key characteristics of CIO leadership include:

  • Exceptional Communicator - Articulates a vision for strategic business value from IT and works across the organization to build partnership around this vision. Focuses communications on value and innovation, not technology. Helps all IT staff to understand the business and speak the language of business leaders.
  • Recognized IT Leader (“Cheap Information Officer”) - Clearly demonstrates value-for-money in the management of core IT services – providing the right services at the right price and the right level of quality. Recognized among peers as an effective leader of the IT unit.
  • Driver of Business Value (“Chief Improvement Officer”) - Understands the business and needs of the CEO, CFO, Line-of-Business heads and other senior executives. Ensures clear focus on potential and realized value in all IT initiatives. Incorporates IT into business decision-making by participating in key strategic conversations, suggesting innovative uses of IT, and for managing risk.
  • Trusted Partner (“CIO-Plus”) – Exercises authority beyond IT itself. Considered a trusted member of the senior executive team, not just a technology leader. Suggests innovative uses of IT to transform the business – and successfully executes the changes. May receive additional non-IT responsibilities such as Chief Operating Officer or VP of Strategy, or strategic temporary roles such as Head of M&A integration.

These criteria are adapted from the award-winning book The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value, which draws extensively upon research conducted at MIT Sloan. As you answer the questions below, please tell us how you have demonstrated these leadership characteristics.

The application includes the following questions. The weights represent relative importance of each question in Phase 1 of the judging process. Question 1 provides context that will be useful in assessing responses to subsequent questions.

2015 Questions Weight
Q1 Please describe your company, IT organization, reporting relationship, and any organizational responsibilities outside of IT. What is the size of your company in terms of revenue and number of employees? What is the size of your IT unit in terms of budget and number of employees?
100 words
Q2 What is the role of IT leaders on the senior executive team of your company? How does this role drive transformative value in your company? 15%
150 words
Q3 How have you fostered a culture that consistently generates new value from IT? What metrics and other communications methods do you use to communicate about value?
Please describe the "before" and "after" environment, both within IT and the overall organization.
250 words
Q4 Even in the most effective organizations, not all initiatives will be successful. What were the most important lessons learned in implementing an initiative that was NOT successful? 15%
200 words
Q5 Describe an innovation that illustrates your vision and achieved your targeted business results.
Why do you consider this initiative to be innovative? How did you select, design, build support for and manage the execution of this innovation?
400 words
Q6 What results did this innovation deliver? How did you assure that these results would continue to be delivered?
Please include both hard and soft metrics.
200 words
Q7 What is the greatest challenge you and your organization still need to address in driving strategic value from IT? 10%
200 words

Judging Process

The judging process will be conducted in three phases.
A panel of CIOs, industry thought leaders and MIT Sloan-affiliated professionals will act as judges.

Phase 1: Initial Screening

Each application will be read by 3 judges and ranked based on quality, depth and completeness of the responses. The top ten semifinalists will be selected for the next phase.

Phase 2: Detailed Analysis

A team of judges, including CIOs and past Award winners and finalists, will read each semifinalist application and rank order based on detailed evaluation criteria. Judges will meet to discuss ranking and select a set of 3-5 finalists for the next phase.

Phase 3: Interviews

A team of 3 MIT-affiliated judges will interview the finalists and then meet to pick the winner. Finalists will be notified in advance so that they can prepare for interviews.


Press interviews of the finalists will be arranged during the day of the Symposium.

For Award-related Questions

We wish you the best of luck and look forward to your application. If you have any questions, please contact the Award Co-chairs at

Co-Chairs for 2015 CIO Award