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IT director Gerry Pennell leaves Manchester University

Manchester University’s director of IT, London 2012 Olympics CIO Gerry Pennell, resigns from the role and says he will leave in March 2016

Gerry Pennell, the University of Manchester’s director of IT, plans to leave the position at the end of March 2016.

Pennell joined the university in July 2013. He led its IT transformation programme, dubbed Manchester 2020, with the aim of becoming one of the leading universities in the world by 2020.

Prior to his role at the university, Pennell was the CIO for the London 2012 Olympics, for which he was rewarded an OBE for his work on London 2012.

In an interview with Computer Weekly after the Olympics, Pennell said the job had been a challenge. “The primary emotion is relief rather than euphoria, because a lot of things people predicted would go wrong, didn't – cyber attacks bringing systems down, mobile networks not allowing people to make phone calls, the systems not being ready on time. None of those things happened,” he said at the time.

A few months after the interview, Pennell began his job at the University of Manchester.

Previous jobs included director of technology for the Manchester Commonwealth Games and CIO at Cooperative Financial Services.

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The University of Manchester has already recruited an interim director of IT, Adrian Ridpath, who will join the university in February 2016.

Ridpath has worked at several other universities, including a role as interim CIO at Brunel University and interim head of IT and telecoms at the London School of Economics. In his current role, he is the interim head of ICT strategy for Shropshire Council.  

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