The state of Ohio promoted from within to replace outgoing CIO Stu Davis and maintain uninterrupted oversight of its IT organization.
In an announcement via email to Department of Administrative Services (DAS) staffers, DAS Director Robert Blair said Deputy State CIO Spencer Wood, has been named interim CIO/assistant director of DAS, effective immediately. Wood was also chief operations officer at the state’s Infrastructure Services Division. Blair also said Katrina Flory, a chief administrator in the Office of IT (OIT) within DAS, has been named interim assistant CIO. Davis, the nation’s second longest-serving state CIO, had his last day Sept. 7.
“Both Spencer and Katrina have excelled as leaders in OIT over the years, and I believe they will continue with their success. I also believe we have a tremendous team throughout OIT,” Blair said in the email.
DAS Chief Communications Officer Tom Hoyt said Wood, a nearly 22-year state employee with significant IT experience, should retain his interim status through the coming Nov. 6 election cycle to replace Gov. John Kasich.
“As you know, the Kasich administration is term-limited and the governor will serve out this term, which will end in mid-January of next year, and I’m sure the search for the next CIO will be conducted by the next administration,” said Hoyt, who characterized the ascension of Wood and Flory as “very smooth.”
Wood has been assistant policy director, technology and innovation, in the governor’s office since April of this year. He has served as division COO and deputy CIO since May 2013. During that time, he spearheaded a roughly two-year modernization project that updated processes in the state’s $1 billion liquor enterprise, which controls how alcoholic beverages are made, distributed, licensed and regulated. He joined the state in 1996 as a senior network engineer in the Ohio Department of Transportation according to his LinkedIn profile.
He’ll take the reins of an organization that, under the stewardship of Davis, achieved modernization efforts including a move to public cloud-based services, centralized its cybersecurity operation and debuted a statewide analytics program that is working to confront Ohio’s opioid crisis and reduce infant mortality.