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Defra chief digital information officer steps down

John Seglias is leaving the department most impacted by Brexit to join National Grid, after four years in the civil service

John Seglias, the chief digital information officer (CDIO) at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), will leave the civil service next month, Computer Weekly has learned.

The IT chief will be joining National Grid’s electricity transmission business as chief information officer. He starts in his new job on 1 October 2019.

Seglias joined Defra in 2016, with his initial responsibilities including a core project, dubbed UnITy, which concerns the modernisation of the department’s IT estate.

He was then tasked with leading work around the IT required to support the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), Defra being the department most affected by it.

“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved over the past four years at Defra,” the IT chief said.

“I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with brilliant, dedicated, professional and highly capable colleagues.

“Together we have transformed Defra’s technology and ensured the department is IT-ready for Brexit. It is now time for the next chapter in my career,” he said.

Read more about leadership

Chris Howes, director of group infrastructure and operations for the UnITy programme, will be stepping up into the CDIO role on a temporary basis, and will be responsible for all other aspects of IT at the department.

EU exit delivery director Jo Broomfield, the executive directly accountable for the systems needed to support Brexit, remains in post and will now report directly to Sarah Homer, Defra’s chief operating officer.

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