Vodafone CIO moves to HMRC

Vodafone UK’s CIO, Mark Dearnley, will step down and take on the role chief digital and information officer at the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in October this year.

In his new role, Dearnley will oversee a £500 million per year IT operation serving 45 million individuals, 4.8 million businesses and 65,000 HMRC employees, HMRC said. He will also be responsible for implementing HMRC’s £200m digitisation programme and accelerating the delivery of online services for all taxpayers. He will also lead HMRC’s physical, personnel and information security detail.

Dearnley has been CIO at Vodafone UK since 2010 and led a programme to overhaul Vodafone’s business-critical information systems. He also restructured Vodafone’s IT operating model and introduced cloud-based technologies into the mobile operator.

“It is an indication of the scale and seriousness of the government’s digital ambition that one of the UK’s most experienced CIOs is leaving the private sector to take on this major role,” said David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the treasury. Mark Dearnley’s appointment to HMRC is evidence that government has the cutting-edge challenges that can attract the very best leaders in IT to public service.”

HMRC chief executive, Lin Homer, added: “HMRC has already embarked on an ambitious programme of digitisation to provide taxpayers with modern online services and Mark is the right person to deliver that for the UK.”

According to Dearnley, no private business in the UK can match the customer base, scale or complexity of the tax authority, which “makes this role irresistible. I am thrilled to have been appointed and can’t wait to get started,” he said.

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