Florida CIO Jason Allison Leaves for the Private Sector

Gov. Rick Scott names CTO Eric Larson as the state's interim IT leader.

In a surprising turn of events, Florida CIO Jason Allison announced he will be departing state service to pursue what has been described as an “unexpected opportunity” in the private sector.

According to Agency for State Technology (AST) spokesperson Erin Choy, Allison has accepted a position as the director of public affairs with law firm Foley & Lardner’s Tallahassee office. Choy confirmed to Government Technology that Allison announced his resignation in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott on Feb. 13.

Despite the historically turbulent past surrounding Florida's IT agency, Allison took the helm at AST in July 2014 and led the agency’s charge to modernize and streamline IT across state government. AST was created in 2014 after the state's IT agency had been defunded twice since 2005. Among the many undertakings within the state since AST was established, the most attention came from the 2016 effort to move a critical data center in just 100 days.

“Jason was the first executive director and state chief information officer for the Agency for State Technology and he has done an outstanding job in that role. Under his leadership, Florida has made impressive strides to enhancing state IT operations. I want to thank Jason for his dedication to the state of Florida and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Scott said in a statement.

In his resignation letter to the governor, Allison thanked him for his confidence and said that he was proud of the strides the state had made under his leadership. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the executive director and state chief information officer and to lead such a dedicated group of public servants whose daily efforts enable Florida’s technology assets to run efficiently and effectively whilst serving our citizenry,” Allison wrote.  

In a post on the Foley & Lardner website, the company welcomed Allison and noted that he brings “considerable information technology (IT), systems implementation and IT migration experience, as well as an extensive understanding of change management and IT/business alignment.”

“After spending most of my career dedicated to public service in the technology sector, I am eager to return to private practice with an esteemed group of professionals,” said Allison in the company’s news release.

Until a permanent replacement is named, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operations Officer Eric Larson will serve as the interim CIO, effective March 7. Larson has been with the state agency since 2014.

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at eeidam@erepublic.com.