Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the appointment of Kenneth D. Theis as director of the Department of Information Technology (DIT). Theis replaces Teri Takai who has resigned and has accepted a position in California.
"We are fortunate to have such a skilled and talented leader in Ken Theis," Granholm said. "Ken brings a wealth of experience to the table and will no doubt continue the great work that has already been accomplished by the department."
Most recently, Theis served as the chief deputy director of DIT. He came to the state of Michigan nine years ago from the General Motors (GM) Corp., where he held several key business and technology leadership positions. Theis received the GM Chairman's Honors Award in 1998, and he was also the recipient of the GM CIO Award in 1999. Since joining the state of Michigan, he successfully implemented a statewide child support enforcement system, enabling the state to recover substantial federal penalties. Theis has been a senior executive with DIT since the creation of the department. In 2006, he was named one of the Premier 100 Information Technology (IT) Leaders in the industry by Computerworld, receiving the distinguished Best in Class recognition.
Theis holds a master's degree in business administration from Northwood University and a bachelor's degree in automotive and heavy equipment management from Ferris State University. He resides in St. Johns with his wife Mary Jo and his three children, Joshua, Zachary and Rachel.
In announcing the appointment, Granholm praised Teri Takai for her leadership at DIT.
"I thank Director Takai for her five years of dedicated service to the citizens of Michigan," Granholm said. "She will be long regarded for her pivotal role and leadership in helping reduce the cost of technology in Michigan government and streamlining technology services."
Takai has served as director of DIT since February 2003. Theis' appointment is subject to Article V, Section 6 of the Michigan State Constitution of 1963. It stands confirmed unless disapproved by the Senate within 60 days.