Digitalization has affected all commercial enterprises. New technologies and approaches are enabling further business development, but also the creation of new business models that are forcing established companies to move forward. Most large companies have now responded to this challenge by creating a new top management position: The Chief Digital Officer (CDO). Currently, more than 2/3 of the 30 largest German listed companies have created a corresponding position. The central task of this position is to implement the digital change in the companies. However, the concrete structure of this position to achieve this task is very heterogeneous. In the literature this fact is taken into account by classifying CDO types such as Accelerator, Marketer, Harmonizer. With regard to the requirements for this position, the scientific community agrees that a strong knowledge of the business model and business processes in particular is necessary - coupled with an understanding of technology. For this reason, a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is not suitable for this position, according to my many scientists, because although there is an understanding of technology, no deep knowledge of the business model is assumed. However, extensive empirical studies have not yet been conducted. In practice, however, the CDO position is currently held by former or active CIOs. Using a cause-effect model and a mixed methods approach, this study aims to clarify the unanswered question of what requirements and conditions a CDO needs in order to be successful, resulting in measurable, positive influence on the company's performance. Hence, this study should close the research gap and resolve the contradiction between existing CIO/CDO theory and CIO/CDO practice.
Keywords: Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Digital Leadership, Executive Roles and Responsibilities