The Obama administration has pulled California CIO Teri Takai’s nomination to the Defense Department’s top technology job, a move triggered by a planned restructuring in the Pentagon that would eliminate the position.
Takai, who became California’s CIO in late 2007, was nominated in March to the assistant secretary of defense position, which functions as the Defense Department’s CIO.
California quickly set in motion a succession plan that included the recruitment of former Colorado CIO Michael Locatis, who is currently serving as California’s chief deputy CIO.
But as weeks of waiting turned into months of career-related limbo, Takai hinted on several occasions that she might serve out the remainder of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tenure, which is term limited this year.
In the meantime, Takai has continued work on the massive reorganization and consolidation of California’s IT organization — an effort that's reforming procurement, governance and strategy — and has required the cooperation and collaboration of all state agencies and approximately 130 agency-level CIOs. When complete, officials say the consolidation will save California nearly $3 billion by 2013.
In August, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a freeze on filling senior Defense Department positions as part of a move to cut the department’s overhead costs by $100 billion. The assistant secretary of defense/CIO would be eliminated in the plan.
Nextgov reported Thursday, Sept. 30, that the Pentagon could refashion its CIO position, so Takai might still have a future with the federal government.
A spokesman for Takai declined comment Friday.