Defence's new CIO revealed

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Defence's new CIO revealed
Stephen Pearson

Exclusive: Industrial exec replaces Peter Lawrence.

Stephen Pearson will become one of the federal government's most powerful IT leaders when he joins the Department of Defence as its new chief information officer.

Defence has hired Pearson to fill a role left vacant by Peter Lawrence in July.

iTnews can reveal Pearson will leave his role as the head of transformation and CIO at Lattice Energy - Origin Energy's former oil and gas business until it was bought by Beach Energy - after just ten months to take on the Defence position.

He will start his new role early next year.

Defence CTO Mohan Aiyaswami will continue acting in the CIO position until Pearson commences.

The longest CIO stint in Pearson's diverse history was at chemicals firm Orica, where he spent two years from late 2013.

The executive spent the five-and-a-half years prior at Newcrest Mining leading its global enterprise system strategy program, a long-running effort to standardise on SAP's enterprise resource planning system.

At Newcrest he managed 200 staff across several regions and was responsible for a total of $150 million in IT budgets, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Pearson also spent time at Toll and Orica leading specific enterprise transformation programs.

His experience spans IT operations in the retail and industrial sectors; it appears the Defence CIO role will be his first time working within a government organisation.

Pearson inherits a large program of technology transformation efforts.

Defence was given a $17 billion cash injection early last year to address the IT problems that had resulted from its disparate and sprawling operations.

More specifically Pearson will take the reins of Defence's massive data centre consolidation and $500 million next-generation desktop overhaul.

He will also lead the procurement of Defence's just-opened end user support services deal - which will see new contracts replace three separate chunks of work long held by Unisys and Fujitsu - and next year will kick the delayed replacement of Defence's systems integrator panel into gear.

Work is similarly ongoing for the agency's Oracle-based HR overhaulasset management system replacement and $1 billion modernisation of its fixed telecommunications network.

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