DWP appoints Philip Langsdale as new chief information officer

Current BAA CIO to succeed Joe Harley

Philip Langsdale has been named as the Department for Work and Pensions’ new chief information officer (CIO).

Langsdale, currently CIO at major airport operator BAA will succeed Joe Harley, who retired at the end of March. Prior to his role at BAA he was responsible for delivering the BBC digital strategy, including the design of Freeview. He was also director of IT at Asda, where he helped to drive the implementation of a store driven ordering system.

Commenting on his appointment, Robert Devereux, permanent secretary at the DWP, said: “This is a key role for the department and I am delighted that we have secured someone of such exceptional calibre from a field of very strong candidates. Philip has a proven track record of delivery and I am confident that he will provide the department with the vital expertise and strong leadership needed as we take forward our reform programme.”

Langsdale said that he was “delighted” to be joining the DWP.

“I look forward to working with colleagues in the Department, and its suppliers, to deliver better quality service and value for money,” he added.

Chris Pennell, principal analyst at public sector market intelligence firm Kable, said that it was interesting that an external candidate was chosen to replace Harley.

“While Langsdale has a background of working with system integrators at BAA, he is not encumbered with working for an integrator and so doesn’t bring that baggage. He does, however, have the experience from his digital strategy work with the BBC of operating in the public sector,” said Pennell.

“That will stand him in good stead in what is likely to be a trying time at DWP while it tries to meet its obligations around universal credit and the government’s public sector cost reduction plans.”

The department began its hunt for a new CIO in January, after Harley announced his plans to retire last November. The advertisement for the job said that the chosen candidate would be responsible for a team of 1,500 IT professionals and would need “communication skills of the highest order”.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates on news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Guardian Government Computing network here.

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