The First CTO of America is very likely to be born in India. There are 2 candidates for the position, Padmasree Warrior, the chief technology officer of Silicon Valley networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO), and Vivek Kundra, who holds the same title in the government of Washington, D.C.
While both of these candidates have a great resume, I have to say they shouldn’t get the job.
Being CTO of a company requires you have the pulse of the company, that you understand not only how a technology will impact the bottom line, and the corporate road plan, but also how those decisions will effect the corporate culture. Making decisions about how the Country’s Technology Policies are handled is a job for someone who has the same cultural background as those people.
While Padmasree Warrior has been a great CTO to CISCO, she hasn’t been an amazing one. Cisco has missed the boat on a lot of things because it struggles to merge in to corporate culture in the US, and really flounders in the consumer space.
Vivek Kundra does things that look good on a resume, but don’t really make sense in his role. His staff of 600 has been mandated to run more opensource software, and while OpenOffice looks good on paper it has created a nightmare for systems integrators who struggle to convert systems that are deployed across the nation on Microsoft products, and have to be hacked to work with the Open Source competitors.
Obama really had the technology working for him in his campaign, but he isn’t campaigning anymore, and instead of just using tech to make connections with his supporters, it is time to step up the game, or rather out of the game and in to work. The rules are different.