So far the academic community has drawn little attention to leadership functions in technology management. The CTO – the Chief Technology Officer – is such a leadership function expected to combine technology and management issues. This paper analyses how the CTO is understood by corporations focusing particularly on typical responsibilities, key skills and necessary qualifications as well as the organizational integration into corporate structures. To approach these issues a survey among executive recruiting consultants (“head-hunters”) was carried out in Germany and complemented by an analysis of international CTO job offers. The authors found that large companies as well as SMEs associate equal importance to similar responsibilities, skills, qualifications and organizational integration (i.e. central, local, staff) with a CTO, while the hierarchical integration of CTOs being a major difference. Furthermore, the authors found that the CTO has in essence similar responsibilities than the head of R+D, but a more external focus on the business environment and professional networks corresponding to the needs of open Innovation.