BAA CIO Philip Langsdale (pictured) has been appointed CIO at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in a surprise move that will put him in charge of delivering the systems to support the forthcoming Universal Credit.
Langsdale was director of IT at Asda between 1992 and 1997, as well as chief executive of BBC Technology before moving to BAA in 2008. He will have the challenging task of making sure that the reform of DWP systems can support the first payment in October 2013 of the Universal Credit – Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' Iain Duncan Smith's radical reform of the benefits system.
Most recently, Langsdale had been behind the implementation of a new passenger information system at London Heathrow, the UK's biggest airport, called Real-time Heathrow.
"Real-time Heathrow is the process of using the information that the airport, airlines and all other players involved gather, so that we can use that information in real time to plan resources better. If something has stopped working, we know about it immediately," Langsdale told Computing last week.
"I am delighted to be joining DWP and to have the opportunity to support the challenging and important reform agenda. I look forward to working with colleagues in the department, and its suppliers, to deliver better quality service and value for money," said Langsdale in a statement.
DWP Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux added: "This is a key role for the department and I am delighted that we have secured someone of such exceptional calibre from a field of very strong candidates. Philip has a proven track record of delivery and I am confident that he will provide the department with the vital expertise and strong leadership needed as we take forward our reform programme."
In addition to Asda, the BBC and BAA, Langsdale has also worked for IBM, consultants Nolan Norton and Coopers & Lybrand, Midland Bank as director of IT strategy, and Cable & Wireless.
Langsdale will succeed Joe Harley, who retired at the end of March.