Federal CTO Job Opens as Chopra Departs

A new job’s opened up when the federal government’s CTO, Aneesh Chopra, announced his resignation last week. Chopra will leave his post in early February, and the Washington Post is reporting he likely will run for lieutenant governor of Virginia.

There’s no word on who will replace him. Since being named to the position in 2009, Chopra has served as an adviser to the president and liaison with academia and industry. In a statement, President Obama said Chopra:

…did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century. Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records.

InformationWeek notes one of his most recent projects was partnering with Codecademy on Code Summer+, a program of summer coding lessons for teens.

Before joining the Obama administration, Chopra was secretary of technology under former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, so it’s not surprising that he might be considering a political run. In email, he told the Post:

I am returning to my home state of Virginia to continue my work using innovative new technologies and platforms to improve healthcare, education and energy – and to grow the jobs and industries of the future.

Fellow tech trailblazer in federal government, former U.S.  CIO Vivek Kundra, left that position last June to take a fellowship at Harvard. He has since landed at Salesforce.com as executive vice president of emerging markets.

Actually, Chopra’s was not the only vacancy I found while trolling the news this week for items for our People Moves column. Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein has departed Hewlett-Packard, where he was senior VP and general manager of HP’s Palm division. And the head of the PlayStation Network in North America, Susan Panico, is gone. Ditto for Vikas Gupta, former CEO of Jambool, maker of the Social Gold virtual currency technology, which was sold to Google 17 months ago. And Sridhar Madhavan, vice president of engineering at Microvision, will be vice president of strategy in Asia until Aug. 1, when he will leave the company. Their replacements have not been announced.