The State Worker

California state information technology director heads for exit

The head of California’s state technology department has announced his resignation, effective at the end of March.

Carlos Ramos, 53, made employees aware of his plans in a Wednesday morning email addressed to “team,” that expressed his “gratitude and appreciation for your hard work and diligence at overseeing the state’s technology portfolio.” The email did not detail Ramos’ plans after he leaves.

A department spokeswoman confirmed the email to staff but did not respond to questions about whether a successor has been named, why Ramos is leaving or what he plans to do next.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Ramos in 2011 to what was then a cabinet-level position as secretary of the California Technology Agency and the state’s chief information officer, replacing Teri Takai. Ramos earned $186,000 last year, according to state payroll data.

The job loss status, however, when Brown shuffled the state bureaucracy and made the technology agency a department under the new Government Operations Agency.

Meanwhile, some high-profile state technology projects under the department’s oversight either failed outright, experienced costly delays or became embroiled in public controversy. A state audit hammered Technology’s management of IT projects.

Ramos took hits for the failures but maintained his department was successful in ways that often went unnoticed.

Under his leadership, the department changed its procurement process, launched its own private technology cloud and began measuring how well outside firms performed IT tasks.

Ramos’ résumé included appointments as assistant secretary for Health and Human Services, director of the state’s massive data center, and CIO for the Department of Social Services. His career with the state spanned two decades. He briefly left public service to start an IT consulting firm.