CTO vs VP Engineering? Who does what?
The roles of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Vice President of Engineering (VP Engineering) are often used interchangeably and there’s significant confusion around the roles.
Here are some of the differences between a CTO and a VP Engineering:
✓ the overall technology strategy of the company
✓ the big picture and setting the technology direction of the company.
✓ responsible for the engineering team
✓ the technical aspects of product development.
✓ the day-to-day execution of the technology plan.
2. External Relations:
✓ is the face of the company’s technology initiatives to external stakeholders, including customers, partners, and investors.
✓ involved in sales and business development activities.
✓ focused on internal operations and managing the engineering team.
3. Level of Decision-Making:
✓ member of the executive team
✓ participates in high-level strategic decision-making for the company.
✓ responsible for evaluating and selecting new technologies and ensuring that the technology stack is aligned with the company’s overall strategic goals.
✓ managing the day-to-day operations of the engineering team (in a small startup)
✓ implementing the technology plan.
4. Technical Leadership:
Both the CTO and the VP Engineering are technical leaders within the company, but..
✓ sets the technical vision and strategy for the company,
✓ in a scale-up they set the tech direction 4–6 years into the future.
✓ managing the engineering team and ensuring that technical tasks are completed on time and on budget
✓ in a scale-up they set the tech direction for the next 1–3 years.
What other differences have you noticed?