Seattle Chief Technology Officer Erin Devoto resigned today after accepting a job with the City of Kirkland in the Public Works department.
Devoto, who replaced former CTO Bill Schrier in April 2012, spent 13 years with city government both at the Parks and IT departments. She told GeekWire that her new gig with the City of Kirkland is “right up her wheelhouse,” and that her departure from Seattle was amicable.
“It’s hard to think about leaving the City of Seattle, but this is a great opportunity for me,” Devoto said.
Mayor Ed Murray thanked Devoto for her service and noted her leadership on several tech-related projects.
“As the Chief Technology Officer, Erin led the Department of Information Technology and several city-wide technological initiatives, including leasing of the City’s excess dark fiber, migration of all employees to a new email archiving system, creation of a new model for public access television channels, and has laid the groundwork for the efficiencies we’re anticipating with implementation of Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud and consolidation of the City’s data center,” Murray said in a statement.
As CTO, Devoto had management oversight of nearly 200 employees and an annual operating budget of more than $79 million. She worked on a variety of projects, from helping migrate workers to Outlook to creating the ordinance that allowed third party providers to lease the excess fiber in Pioneer Square.
“I’m really proud of what the department achieved,” she said. “It is a phenomenal staff.”
Devoto was in charge of the city’s technology arm during the failed high-speed Internet network partnership with Gigabit Squared, a private company that had problems securing financing to install the network.
“Am I really fond of how Gigabit fell on their face? No,” Devoto said. “I am sorry they couldn’t get it together, but I know the new administration is looking at how they can best approach this.”
Devoto stressed the difficulty of getting fiber Internet to every single home in Seattle, whether through a private partnership or by a municipal utility strategy.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about revenue and money,” she said.
The Mayor’s office will name an interim replacement in the coming weeks and will begin searching for someone to permanently fill the role. The position is classified by the City as “Executive 4,” with salary ranging between $127,932 to $211,076.
Update, 5:30 p.m.: This story was updated with comments from Devoto