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HMRC chief digital and information officer departs

Jacky Wright, HMRC chief digital and information officer, will return to Microsoft in October after a two-year loan arrangement

The chief digital and information officer (CDIO) at HM Revenue and Customs, Jacky Wright, is to return to Microsoft in October.

Wright, who had been working in the UK government under a two-year loan arrangement, will resume her role as chief digital officer at the software giant in the US. Succession plans will be announced before her last day on 11 October.

The department claims that under Wright’s leadership, it has achieved a lot in terms of digital transformation, including a cloud migration and advances around HMRC’s network and sourcing strategy.

According to HMRC, Wright’s launch of a data strategy and governance model, “positions the organisation to effectively develop a core capability for the future”.

In addition, the department claims that its employee experience has been “radically changed” with the introduction of technologies for collaborative working under the outgoing CDIO’s watch.

“I am so proud of all that we have achieved in my two years with HMRC,” she said. “The digital transformation we have introduced and the new ways of working we have championed have built a solid foundation on which to continue, for both our colleagues and the customers we serve.”

During her time in post, Wright – who was chosen as the most influential person in UK IT in Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 annual ranking – has commented on the challenges of her first experience in public sector.

“The challenge for someone such as myself, who has never worked in the public sector, is to quickly understand the processes that make government work and how you drive your agenda through those processes,” Wright said last year, when she was announced as the UK’s top tech leader.

“That in itself has not been easy, as there are many governance processes and procedures to traverse. There is also the element of cultures within cultures, and how you navigate those, which is not easy.”

Wright’s return to the business world follows the departure of another high-profile CDIO, John Seglias, who will be leaving the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to take up a private sector job in October.

Meanwhile, the search for an overarching CDIO for all of government, which has been relaunched this month, continues.

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