Public Services > Central Government

Former HMRC CIO Phil Pavitt to leave Specsavers

David Bicknell Published 06 March 2017

Pavitt to leave at the end of June and admits he is looking for a new role or consultancy opportunities


Former HM Revenue & Customs director general of change Phil Pavitt is to leave Specsavers, the options and eyecare organisation he joined as Global CIO in June 2014.

In a note published on his LinkedIn profile, Pavitt said, “Today John Perkins (Joint CEO) and I have announced that I will be leaving Specsavers at the end June 2017. An incredible amount has been achieved and the revolution has now been turned into a funded activity plan globally led by a new, strong technology leadership team.

“This being the case, John and I agree that now is the right time to put in place the leadership that will build on this strong platform and focus on execution and rolling out of our plans. It has been a fantastic experience for me and now it's time for the next and probably final chapter! If you know of roles, consultancy, NED or speaking opportunities then you know where to find me. Busy last four months - you know me!”

Pavitt moved on from HMRC in December 2012, before joining financial services group Aviva as global IT operations and transformation director in January 2013.

With the departure of HMRC’s chief digital and information officer (CDIO) Mark Dearnley last year, the post is currently being filled on an interim basis by Mike Potter, the digital transformation director. With Pavitt now looking for new opportunities there will inevitably be some speculation that he could return to HMRC in some capacity.

In an interview with Government Computing on his role at Specsavers, Pavitt offered some thoughts about the impact of digital in government and moving away from legacy, though he demurred against commenting on his old department and its exit from the Aspire contract.

He did however make several points about digital transformation, saying, "Digital breeds innovation - it's frightening, messy, and weird people turn up. Weird ideas appear. It is messy - the old governance doesn't work. The old hierarchy doesn't work,” and adding, "Once started, digital cannot be stopped."

Related article:

Digital: "Frightening, messy, and once started, it cannot be stopped"


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