White House names VMWare’s Tony Scott as federal CIO

Tony Scott comes to government after spending his 35-year career in the private sector.

The White House named Tony Scott as the next federal chief information officer Thursday.

Tony Scott speaks during the Tech•Ed 2010 North America conference in New Orleans in 2010. (AP Photo/Microsoft Corp., Lee Celano)
President Barack Obama chose Scott, the VMWare senior vice president and CIO, to take over for Steve VanRoekel who left the role in September.

Scott came to VMWare in August 2013 after spending the previous career as a CIO at Microsoft and the Walt Disney Company. He was also chief technology officer for General Motors.

Scott inherits a federal IT budget of about $81 billion in 2015, and a host of priorities ranging from digital services to shared services to mobility to cybersecurity.

Scott will become the third person to hold the title federal CIO.

Vivek Kundra served from 2009 to 2011. VanRoekel replaced him and served just over three years before taking the chief innovation officer role at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Lisa Schlosser, the deputy CIO, has been acting since VanRoekel left the position.

“Under Tony’s leadership, we will continue to build on the remarkable work done by the Nation’s first CIOs Vivek Kundra and Steve VanRoekel in changing the way the Federal government manages IT,” wrote OMB Director Shaun Donovan and OMB deputy director for management Beth Cobert in a blog post. “Tony will bring will over 35 years of global leadership and management experience to build upon our progress and drive continued success. Tony is the right person to drive the administration’s Smarter IT Delivery Agenda and the core objectives across the federal IT portfolio-(1) driving value in federal IT investments, (2) delivering world-class digital services, and (3) protecting federal IT assets and information.”

Donovan and Cobert didn’t say when Scott would start at OMB, but said they would have more detail on his role in the coming weeks.

Scott isn’t well known in the federal community. But the decision to bring in an “outsider” follows the pattern of the Obama administration. Kundra had no federal experience and VanRoekel had spent less than two years in the government after spending his entire career in the private sector before becoming federal CIO.


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