The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) CIO Philip Langsdale has passed away at the age of 56.
Langsdale, who is understood to have passed away suddenly on 22 December, was director of IT at Asda between 1992 and 1997, as well as chief executive of BBC Technology before moving to BAA in 2008.
Computing interviewed the former BAA CIO in May 2012, when he explained the implementation of a new passenger information system at London Heathrow 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.
A week later he was appointed at the DWP in a surprise move that saw him put in charge of delivering the systems to support the forthcoming Universal Credit.
"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," Langsdale said in a statement at the time.
Neil Clark who took over the role as BAA CIO when Langsdale left for DWP, sent an email to employees at BAA to notify them of the sad news.
"It is with deep sadness that I have to bring you the news that Philip Langsdale passed away on Saturday 22nd December, the day before his 57th birthday. He will be remembered fondly by us all.
"I will of course pass our condolences to Philip's wife and daughters," he added.
Ailsa Beaton, outgoing CIO at Metropolitan Police, tweeted: "Very sorry to hear of the death of Philip Langsdale. He was a consummate professional as a CIO as well as being a charming and friendly man".
Malcolm Lowe, CTO at DWP, also tweeted: "So sad to hear Philip Langsdale - CIO at DWP - has passed away. A clever, charming, inspirational man gone too soon."