Tony Tortorice, Washington state’s CIO and Department of Information Services director, has decided to resign after little more than a year on the job.
Tortorice is expected to leave in mid-October, in the meantime helping the state transition to his successor, who has not been named. Tortorice’s decision to resign was confirmed by a spokesperson from Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office on Monday, Sept. 13.
Tortorice said in an e-mail to colleagues that it was his desire to spend time with family that precipitated the move. Tortorice did not respond to phone calls for comment placed to his office at the DIS.
Tortorice and the Department of Information Services have been working to push forward a shared services initiative in the state government that includes desktop support, e-mail, servers and disaster recovery. As part of that effort, the state was scheduled to move all state agencies’ data and IT applications to a newly built data center by 2015.
According to a Sept. 3 news brief written by Washington state, Tortorice has been working to assemble an enterprise program office that will manage complex and large IT projects, working independently of the Department of Information Services. Jim Albert, the deputy director of operations at DIS, is set to lead the office, according to the brief.
An executive steering committee was also working on the language of a proposed executive order that would create an Office of the CIO. “In the latest draft, DIS would be distinct from the Office of the CIO, becoming purely a central service provider of ‘utility computing,’” the brief said. In the plan, the Office of the CIO would manage the state’s IT strategy and resource allocation.
There is no timeline yet for naming Tortorice’s replacement, the Gregoire spokesperson said. A search committee is typically organized by the state’s personnel department to identify and screen qualified candidates.
Gregoire named Tortorice state CIO and DIS director in May 2009. Tortorice replaced Gary Robinson, who had served since 2005, in the dual role.
Prior to working for Washington state, Tortorice was CIO of L.A. Unified -- the nation’s second-largest school district. He also formerly worked as an IT executive for the Los Angeles Community College District -- the largest system of community colleges in the U.S. -- and was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Tortorice isn’t among the numerous state CIOs who are awaiting their fate after November’s gubernatorial elections. Gregoire’s term in office runs through 2012.
Matt Williams was previously the news editor of Govtech.com, and is now a contributor to Government Technology and Public CIO magazines. He also previously served as the managing editor of TechWire, a sister publication to Government Technology.2