Public Services > Central Government

Microsoft’s Jacky Wright named as new HMRC CDIO

David Bicknell Published 14 September 2017

New chief digital and information officer succeeds Mark Dearnley; Mike Potter, who was interim CDIO, misses out but moves to become Director for Future Borders, working to Karen Wheeler


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has appointed its new chief digital and information officer (CDIO) in succession to Mark Dearnley. And it has gone to an external candidate, meaning interim CDIO Mike Potter has missed out on the role.

The new CDIO is Jacky Wright, who is currently Microsoft’s corporate vice-president, Core Platform Engineering. According to HMRC, she is well known in the industry as a senior executive who is a transformational global leader and innovative technologist.

HMRC said Wright’s appointment has been ratified by Prime Minister Theresa May, and emerges from an extensive recruitment exercise, in which candidates were considered from across the Civil Service and the public and private sectors, and internationally.

HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson said, “I’m delighted to welcome Jacky to HMRC as our new Chief Digital and Information Officer. Jacky was an exceptional candidate and this appointment marks an exciting new phase for us as we continue towards our vision of becoming a world-class organisation.

“Jacky is a seasoned commercial leader with ‘best in class’ credentials, globally. Balancing strong operating experience with a record of driving innovation. Jacky is widely recognised for her contributions to technology and diversity. Her influence as a technology leader and as a champion for the role of women and BAME in industry, is a major win for this organisation.”

Thanking Potter for his role as interim CDIO, Thompson said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Mike Potter for the invaluable contribution he has made, as interim CDIO and ExCom member for the past year. Among many other achievements, Mike successfully led the conclusion of the transition to exit the £10bn Aspire IT contract, building on the work of Mark Dearnley. This has been a hugely successful achievement which has brought us back control of our many IT services, as well as the skills needed to lead them.”

“Far from standing still over the last 12 months, under Mike’s leadership we have made fantastic progress towards our digital transformation ambition: we have our first regional centre in Croydon fully kitted out and ready for business; we are rolling out our internal digital strategy, recruiting digital ambassadors and our people can access a much-improved SAP service. We’ve also seen the value that Mike’s team has brought recently in supporting the VOA to deliver their Check, Challenge and Appeal system — all part of our commitment to providing individuals and businesses with top-notch digital services.”

Mike Potter is to take up a new role as Director for Future Borders, working to Karen Wheeler. He misses out on the permanent role, just as then interim Mark Hall did when Dearnley arrived. Whitehall insiders have said Potter is very highly regarded and his move into a major new Borders role is no surprise.

Julian David, techUK’s chef executive said, “We are delighted by the appointment of Jacky Wright as the new CDIO of HMRC. Jacky has a global track record of driving innovation, and she is well placed to harness the power of technology to transform HMRC to provide more efficient, smarter services to all. We look forward to working closely with Jacky to support HMRC as it continues to embrace new technologies, and build ongoing engagement between HMRC and the UK’s thriving tech sector. Jacky will build on the excellent work of Mike Potter, who we will continue to collaborate with in his new role as Director for Future Borders.”

Jacky Wright, who will take up her appointment from October 16, said, “There could not be a better time in the history of technology to demonstrate the power of technology innovation at an organisation such as HMRC. I am really excited to be joining the UK’s tax authority at such a pivotal time in its history.

“I am passionate about the impact innovation can have in truly transforming services for people and businesses in a positive way and want to continue the great work being done within HMRC and across the Civil Service at this time. I am proud to represent women and BAME in technology and will continue to promote the vital role of diversity within our industry and more broadly.”


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