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New York State CIO Robert Samson Announces His Retirement

The decision, which takes effect as of Aug. 15, will mark the end of the veteran IT leader’s second career. Samson came out of retirement in May 2017 to accept the CIO position with the state.

Robert Samson will retire as New York State CIO as of Aug. 15, the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) announced in a statement Friday.

This move will actually mark Samson’s second retirement, after spending 36 years in the private sector, working for IBM. The veteran IT leader came out of retirement in May 2017 to head up technology efforts for the state.

In the past two years of Samson’s leadership, much progress has been made in New York, including the consolidation of 53 data centers as well as the creation of the New York State Excelsior Cloud. 

In a prepared statement released Friday, ITS pointed to other progress made under Samson, including how he “improved New York State’s cybersecurity position through increased investments in people and protection; and completed hundreds of high-impact projects that advance the state’s most strategic policies and programs like the Excelsior Scholarship, Rent Regulation, and Paid Family Leave.”

Samson was not available to discuss his legacy. He did, however, share this written statement: 

“I am grateful for the opportunity Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo afforded me to lead this wonderful agency. The last two years at ITS were among the most enjoyable and professionally fulfilling of my long career in information technology. While this was not an easy decision for me, my family and I determined that retirement is best in light of recent health issues. Working with our team of dedicated and talented employees, ITS has made significant progress and is embracing technology to drive New York State forward and deliver innovation that matters for all New Yorkers. It has been a privilege to serve ITS and the State of New York.”

Earlier this year, Samson was named one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for 2018.

Associate editor for Government Technology magazine
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