After more than 25 years in public-sector service, one of California’s chief technologists unexpectedly announced Oct. 31 that he would be retiring in early 2017.
In an internal memo circulated Monday, Robert Schmidt, chief of the Office of Technology Services (OTech), announced to senior staff and colleagues that he would be leaving state service sooner than anyone had anticipated.
The longtime public servant cited personal reasons for his departure, but said he would stay on until February of 2017 to ensure a “seamless” leadership transition.
“Unfortunately, I have come to the point in my life where I must retire from state service. Though I understand this is a bit earlier than anticipated, there are personal matters that have influenced my decision which I hope you can understand,” Schmidt wrote in the memo. “For those reasons, I find that this retirement is bittersweet; I am excited to start a new chapter in my life but sad to end another.”
Schmidt was appointed as the chief of OTech by Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2015, and formerly served as CIO for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where he managed a staff of more than 70 people and a $10 million annual operational budget.
His extensive resume also includes two prior stints with the Department of Technology, the parent agency of OTech, as well as a 10-year stretch in a technical supervisory role within the state’s Franchise Tax Board.