Massachusetts names new CIO

Having lost its chief information officer to political infighting in December, Massachusetts appointed a permanent replacement this week, naming Louis Gutierrez head of the Information Technology Division. He will serve as state CIO and oversee the IT division starting Feb. 6.

Gutierrez will be responsible for managing the final stages of implementation of the state's OpenDocument format initiative, which mandates that all electronic files be saved in the open-standards format by January 2007, Thomas Trimarco, state secretary for administration and finance, said in a written statement.

That mandate has met resistance from proprietary software vendors, most notably Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash., which felt that the new standard unfairly squeezed it out of the state's business.

The response from software vendors led to a political struggle within Massachusetts government, which former CIO Peter Quinn said forced him to resign Christmas Eve, fearing that the infighting would cause the state to scrap its OpenDocument plans.

Gutierrez will replace acting CIO Bethann Pepoli, who will become deputy CIO.

Gutierrez had been chief technology strategist at the Commonwealth Medicine Division of UMass Medical School. Previously, he served as CIO for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Gutierrez also is a former principal at the Exeter Group of Cambridge, Mass., an IT strategy and integration services firm.

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