Hiring a chief information officer may be among the most important human-resources decisions a company makes. Unlike the head of sales, a business-line leader, or even the CFO, the CIO will touch every part of the business. How that executive performs over the long term will likely have a tangible influence on financial results. But there are different kinds of CIOs, and which would suit a company best depends on the type of company and its life-cycle position. That's something CFOs don't always grasp, said Martha Heller, president of Heller Search Associates, a specialist in CIO recruiting.