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Newham IT chief Richard Steel, retires after 20 years' service

Cliff Saran

Richard Steel has taken early retirement from his post as CIO of Newham Borough Council.

Steel, who had the post of Socitm president 2008-2009, said he was taking a couple of months out for "rest, reflection and thoughts about what to do next."

Steel came to prominance after pitted open source against Windows in 2004, but ultimately awarded Microsoft and HP a 10-year contract to supply Newham with desktop PCs, servers and software.

While an unpopular decision in the Linux community, Steel has stood his ground on this decision, which helped Microsoft establish a local government specialisation and elevated Newham Borough Council to a flagship Microsoft site.

Steel caused further outrage in the open source community recently when he described open source as "years behind" commercial products,

Steel began his IT career in merchant banking, and became an assistant director of Morgan Grenfell (now Deutsche Bank). He moved to Newham Council in 1989.

The council is now in the process of renegotiating its contract with Micrsoft.


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