In the latest of a string of appointments, Gov.-elect Jay Inslee says he has hired Michael Cockrill to serve as Washington state’s next chief information officer. Cockrill, who has a background in Seattle technology start-up businesses, replaces Bharat Shyam, who was the state's first CIO when he arrived in November 2011.
The formal announcement is here:
OLYMPIA - Governor-Elect Jay Inslee today named a successful high-tech entrepreneur as the state’s new Chief Information Officer. Michael Cockrill, a technology entrepreneur with a long track record of success, will oversee the state’s strategic vision for information technology, a key part of the governor-elect’s efforts to bring fundamental change to state government.
"Michael’s experience creating and building companies shows he understands how to marshal innovation and deliver on the promise of technology,” said Governor-elect Inslee. “With the rapid pace of technological change, we need someone like Michael who understands that change without substantive improvement won’t advance our efforts to make government more efficient, effective and transparent.”
The Chief Information Officer is responsible for evaluating state agencies’ information technology spending, establishes IT standards across state government and evaluates major technology projects.
Cockrill joins the Inslee Administration after a successful career in Seattle’s world of technology start-ups. He co-founded the photo-sharing site PhotoRocket, co-founded Atlas Networks which provides Triple-Play services to consumers and small business, and was a key member of the executive team of Qpass Corp., a pioneering company in the field of mobile commerce. Cockrill also held management positions with Microsoft.
Cockrill is currently an associate partner at Auxin Partners, a Woodinville firm that works to commercialize intellectual property portfolios.
“This is an exciting opportunity and I’m excited to help the Inslee Administration bring private sector experience to state government,” Cockrill said. “The goal is not to make government run like business, but to bring the lessons of successful corporations to the many unique roles state government plays in Washington.”
Cockrill is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Washington Center for Commercialization. He holds e-commerce patent and has served on the Washington Technology Council.
Cockrill is more of an outsider to state government than many of his earlier picks. Go here for a list of Inslee’s hiring announcements, here for a report on last Thursday’s announcements, here for a report on his legislative director and communications director, and here on his budget director.