California CTO Resigns

P.K. Agarwal will become CEO of influential industry nonprofit TiE Global in May.

Elizabeth Montalbano, Contributor

April 6, 2010

3 Min Read

More changes are afoot for California's IT department, as the state CTO P.K. Agarwal Tuesday said he will leave his position next month to take over as CEO of a nonprofit.

The news comes a week after President Obama nominated California CIO Teri Takai as the new CIO and assistant secretary for networks and information integration at the Department of Defense.

California also is in the midst of sweeping changes to its IT processes and is planning a massive data-consolidation project that will reduce its data center space 50% by July 2011 and to cut energy usage from IT operations 30% by July 2012.

Agarwal will become CEO of TiE Global on May 4 following the departure of current CEO Suren Dutia, who plans to leave after a brief transition period.

TiE Global is an influential industry group based in Silicon Valley that promotes entrepreneurship and has strong connections to India.

In his new role, Agarwal will oversee the company's development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services to promote entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education, according to a press statement.

In the statement, TiE Global chairman Arjun Malhotra said the company is honored and privileged to bring Agarwal on board to help the organization evolve.

Agarwal did not immediately return a request for comment. The state has not publicly commented on plans to replace him, and a media consultant in the CIO's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Agarwal has served as California's CTO since 2005, when he was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he has been a familiar figure in Silicon Valley dating back to the early days of the World Wide Web.

Together with Takai, who was appointed in 2007, Agarwal was tasked with integrating disparate IT organizations in California to create a more cost-efficient IT department. He had some success there, saving taxpayers more than $43 million through consolidation efforts, according to the state's Web site.

Agarwal also was not afraid to use cutting-edge technologies to help improve California's use of technology. In February, he created a crowd-sourcing Web site asking the public to weigh in on how the state might improve its technology strategy and implementation after a blog post criticized the state's "antiquated" IT system.

But there is still work to be done in California, and it appears the state will be doing it under entirely new IT leadership.

In February, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order calling for a data-center consolidation plan that would drastically reduce the state's data center footprint and energy consumption.

The order also requires all state agencies to appoint CIOs and information security officers and aims to standardize IT governance and increase transparency on spending in order to better manage California's more than $3 billion IT budget.

Prior to his position in California, Agarwal held positions both in the public and private sector. He was VP at ACS, CIO and executive VP for NIC, and CIO for the California Franchise Tax Board. He began his professional career at EDS as a management consultant.

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