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Eric Hayden Confirmed as Tampa CIO, Chief Technology Officer

City Council members voted unanimously to make the career Florida executive permanent in both roles. Hayden, who was previously infrastructure services manager, has served as interim CIO and CTO since January.

An aerial panorama view of the skyline in Tampa, Florida.
On Thursday, Tampa City Council members unanimously appointed Eric Hayden as the city’s new chief information officer and chief technology officer.
Tampa Interim CIO Eric Hayden
City of Tampa

Hayden has held both roles in an interim capacity after his predecessor, Russell Haupert, stepped down in January. Since then, the city has conducted a nationwide search to fill both positions, resulting in 93 candidates, according to Tampa Chief of Staff John Bennett.

“On May 16, during the administrative update, the administration was able to conclude its search to replace Russell Haupert after he retired from our Technology and Innovation Department,” Bennett said during the City Council meeting Thursday. “The mayor is honored to nominate Eric Hayden, who has been with the city since 1986.”

Hayden’s first public-sector job with the city was as an application systems analyst. He has since moved up the ranks to become an application senior programmer analyst, application lead systems analyst, M.I.S. project leader, infrastructure services manager and interim director of the technology department.

“I’ve been with the city for a little bit of time, and through six different roles within IT, I’ve helped almost every customer and every citizen in our communities,” Hayden told city councilmembers. “We’re big on business process improvement and running as frugal a shop as we can. We don’t have a lot of money to do things, so we make sure that we help all departments get what they can out of what we have.”

Shortly after Hayden spoke, all seven city councilmembers praised him for his years of dedicated service and unanimously appointed him CIO and CTO.

“I wholeheartedly support your nomination,” Councilwoman Lynn Hurtak said during the meeting. “I really appreciate the way that you answer members of the community’s questions about how certain things are run, that you’re open to listening and changing things, and that you and your team are working so hard to try to modernize a big, giant, difficult-to-change agency.”

More of the council’s response and a recording of Hayden’s appointment can be found online.

This story first appeared in Industry Insider — Florida, part of e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company.
Katya Diaz is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University.