In the 180 posts above I assume the following is repeated many times, and I have not read it all.
I just feel compelled to add my mere two cents worth.
The level of skill at the small end of practice is often abysmal as in this case. The CTO is an inexperienced unqualified idiot and almost certainly a bully. If for example he genuinely had an ITIL Manager certificate, none of this could have happened if he was following event the basic aspects of best practice.
In over 40 years of working for large multinationals, and one government department, for the multinationasl, production systems were not accessible to development staff, at all. One of them even had separate networks, as in several air gaps and military style access control to production worlds. A contrast is provided by the Government department , controlling driving license data. It of course was dominated by unqualified bullies, who where even happy to have offshore contractors access the internal network to build and maintain systems despite being warned. Oh and of course the trouble making people objecting, no longer work there.