Laidlaw is a widely respected industry figure.He was formerly IT director of British Gas and is a past master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. Laidlaw will now help to promote and enhance the stature of the 500 Club.
The 500 Club, whose membership is restricted to IT directors of user organisations, was launched eight years ago and holds regular seminars throughout the year. Unusually for a newspaper enterprise, events are off-the-record to encourage a more candid debate over important issues affecting the IT profession.
"There are numerous senior IT management groups, but I believe this to be unique and the most focused, as it combines four important ingredients," said Laidlaw.
"It enables free and frank discussions about issues, concerns and the many things that can inhibit successful IT activity; it provides a platform for discussion with directors from different business backgrounds; it enables informal interaction between the editorial staff of Computer Weekly and senior IT directors.
"With 20 years' experience in IT, both as a major user and with suppliers, I have a perception of both sides, which is not so usual. I have also been around long enough to see the cyclic nature of many issues, seen as new to many. I hope this experience will facilitate the workings of the 500 Club."