Chief Technology Officer - CTO


DEFINITION of 'Chief Technology Officer - CTO'

An executive who is responsible for the management of an organization's research and development (R&D) and technological needs. A chief technology officer (CTO) examines the short- and long-term needs of an organization, and utilizes capital to make investments designed to help the organization reach its objectives. The CTO usually reports directly the chief executive officer (CEO) of the firm.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chief Technology Officer - CTO'

While research and development has been a component of businesses for many years, the rise of information technology (IT) and computers has increased the importance of the chief technology officer. Companies focusing on scientific and electronic products employ CTOs who are responsible for the oversight of intellectual property and have backgrounds in the industry.

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