Ex-Pennsylvania CIO Heads For Lone Star StateEx-Pennsylvania CIO Heads For Lone Star State
Larry Olson, one of the first state CIOs in the 1990s, is the new CIO of Texas.
May 4, 2004
Larry Olson, who served as the top business technologist of Pennsylvania in the late 1990s as one of the first state CIOs, is returning to government service. Olson is the new CIO of Texas, replacing longtime CIO Carolyn Purcell, who retired Aug 31 after nine years on the job. He will hold the title of executive director of the Department of Information Resources, which is an independent agency, like many Texas government entities. The department's governing board announced Olson's appointment late last week.
Olson served as Pennsylvania's first CIO from 1995 to 1999 after being named to that post by then-Gov. Tom Ridge, now secretary of Homeland Security. As Pennsylvania's CIO, he served as a principal architect of an educational technology program and developed and implemented the consolidation and outsourcing of 17 agency data centers that produced a five-year savings of $127 million. He also served as Pennsylvania's deputy state treasurer and chief management officer of the Department of Public Welfare, an umbrella agency with 28,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $13 billion. After leaving Pennsylvania, Olson was a principal at Aligne Inc., a strategic technology-management consulting firm. He's also a former InformationWeek columnist. Purcell, who became a private consultant, served as executive director for nine years, an unusually long term for any state CIO. Among her main accomplishments: championing TexasOnline.com, the state portal that delivers public services and information and saves taxpayers money; consolidating data services at a center in San Angelo; Y2K remediation; and establishing volume purchase pricing for IT goods and services.
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