Another major player leaving the GDS

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Magnus Falk has become the latest high-profile figure in the Government Digital Service to head for the exit, continuing a concerning trend.

Hired in August 2014 as chief technology officer (CTO), the former Credit Suisse chief information officer (CIO) joined Common Technology Services, the team responsible for ensuring government technology is equipped for the shift to cloud services and delivering digital services to citizens.

Falk joined the GDS on a fixed contract and it’s understood that he decided not to apply for the permanent role.

Falk’s decision to leave the GDS is arguably one of the biggest departures since executive director and chief data officer (CDO) Mike Bracken announced his shock resignation at the start of August.

Bracken’s departure precipitated an exodus, with deputy director Tom Loosemore, director of strategy Russell Davies, head of user research Leisa Reichelt and design director Ben Terrett all announcing their intention to leave within a week of Bracken’s announcement.

While the GDS was quick to play down the significance of the situation at the time, the impact of Bracken’s departure and some of his top aides is hard to ignore and Falk’s decision to join the exiles will only spark further speculation about the future direction of the service.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told Computer Weekly: “Magnus joined GDS on a fixed term assignment to work with Government’s Technology Leaders and now he has decided it is the right time to leave.”

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