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IBM’s Joanna Davinson to become new Home Office tech boss

IBM executive to replace Sarah Wilkinson as chief digital, data and technology officer

The Home Office has appointed IBM vice-president Joanna Davinson as its new chief digital, data and technology officer (CDDTO).

Davinson, who currently leads IBM’s cognitive consulting, process consulting and business process outsourcing businesses in Europe, will join the Home Office on 20 November.

She replaces former tech boss Sarah Wilkinson, who left earlier this year to join NHS Digital as its CEO.

In a statement, Davinson said she was delighted to join the Home Office and lead its digital, data and technology team (DDaT).

“I look forward to working with colleagues across the Home Office, in wider government and in our supplier community to build on the great work that has already been done and to ensure that DDaT continues to bring forward the best in technology innovation and to deliver digital, data and technology services that support and enable the Home Office to achieve its mission and priorities,” she said.

For Davinson, who began her career as a public sector accountant at the National Audit Office (NAO), the move marks a return to the civil service.

Following her role at the NAO, Davinson moved to Coopers & Lybrand, where she worked as a management consultant focusing on government and health clients, before moving to Tanzania, where she worked as a consultant on transformation programmes, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Before her current role at IBM, Davinson was general manager of IBM’s public sector global business services in Europe.

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She is the second government tech boss to be appointed from a private sector company in recent months, following HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) appointment of Microsoft’s Jacky Wright – a move that has caused controversy.

Wright joins HMRC effectively on a two-year loan from Microsoft, with plans to return after her contract expires. It is not known whether Davinson is coming from IBM to the Home Office on a similar deal.

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