• United States
by Carol Sliwa

Massachusetts appoints new CIO

Jan 31, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

Massachusetts Monday appointed Louis Gutierrez to head its Information Technology Division and oversee the implementation of its controversial Open Document Format plan, which is scheduled to take effect in January 2007.

Gutierrez, a 2002 Computerworld Premier 100 honoree, will leave his current position as chief technology strategist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to fill the CIO post that had been vacant since Peter Quinn resigned earlier this month. Quinn, who had spearheaded the state’s effort to move away from proprietary formats for storing government documents, cited disruptions to his personal life, concerns that his presence might detract from the IT division’s work and the increasing politicization of IT as factors in his decision to resign.

Bethann Pepoli, who worked closely with Quinn as COO for the state’s IT division, served as acting CIO while the state sought a permanent replacement for Quinn. Pepoli will now work with Gutierrez as deputy CIO.

Gutierrez will assume his new position next Monday. Prior to working at the UMass medical school, Gutierrez was CIO for the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services. He is also a former principal at Cambridge, Mass.-based The Exeter Group, former CIO at Wellesley, Mass.-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and a past CIO for the state of Massachusetts.

Despite the changing of the guard, the state has insisted that it remains on track to implement its Open Document plan next year. That plan calls for agencies in the executive department to save documents in the “Open Document Format for Office Applications.” That format was made a standard earlier this year by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.

The state IT division’s decision to adopt the OpenDocument format has drawn opposition from Microsoft, as well as a collection of legislators, government officials and groups representing persons with disabilities.