HMRC hires Vodafone CIO Mark Dearnley to drive digital strategy

HMRC has appointed Mark Dearnley, the CIO of Vodafone, as the organisation’s chief digital and information officer

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has appointed Mark Dearnley, the CIO of Vodafone, as the organisation’s new chief digital and information officer.

Mark Dearnley, who will join HMRC in October 2013, takes over from former CIO Phil Pavitt, who left at the start of 2013.

The appointment comes just weeks after Mark Hall – who was acting CIO following Pavitt’s departure – suggested he would be considering whether to stay in government IT, following his unsuccessful application for the post.

Dearnley is expected to drive through the digitisation strategy at the HMRC. As Computer Weekly previously reported, the Cabinet Office has already scrapped the role of government CIO and sees the future of technology in Whitehall as being divided between digital leaders and chief technology officers (CTOs).

Dearnley will take control of a £500m-a-year IT operation that serves 45 million individuals, 4.8 million businesses and 65,000 HMRC employees. He will be responsible for implementing HMRC’s £200m digitisation programme and accelerating the planned delivery of online services for all taxpayers. He will also lead HMRC’s physical, personnel and information security.

Dearnley said: “No private business in the UK can match the customer base, scale or complexity of HMRC, which makes this role irresistible. I am thrilled to have been appointed and can’t wait to get started.”

Dearnley has been CIO at Vodafone UK since 2010, with responsibility for IT supporting 19 million customers. He previously worked at Cable & Wireless, Boots and Accenture, and restructured Vodafone’s IT operating model and introduced cloud-based technologies.

HMRC chief executive, Lin Homer, said: “Mark is an exceptionally experienced CIO, with strong leadership and change management skills as well as an accomplished technical background across a spectrum of IT disciplines. HMRC has already embarked on an ambitious programme of digitisation to provide taxpayers with modern online services and Mark is the right person to deliver that for the UK.”

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