RonJeffries' title was Chief Scientist because he got to pick any title he wanted. Next time he's going for the bucks.
In some organizations, a position they give you when you're too experienced to let you do real work and they sure as hell don't want you in management.
In other organizations, a position where you get technical oversight over all of the real work and look out for the future.
In all organizations, a position with very little real power other than its "bully pulpit", little pay (as opposed to real corporate officers), and end-of-the-line connotations.