DWP picks former Boots and NHS exec as new digital chief

Richard Corbridge starts tenure as CDIO of major department

The Department for Work and Pensions has unveiled former NHS and Boots technology leader Richard Corbridge as its new chief digital and information officer.

Corbridge starts work today and will replace outgoing digital chief Simon McKinnon, who announced plans to retire last year.

The role, which was advertised with a salary of £200,000 a year, sits at the head of DWP’s workforce of about 4,500 digital, data and technology professionals. The CDIO brief also comes with a responsibility to manage an annual IT budget of £1.4bn and support a tech estate that encompasses 90,000 computers.

The new appointee takes on the role having most recently spent four years in senior roles at high-street pharmacy chain Boots. Earlier in his career he held positions at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Ireland’s national healthcare system: The Health Service Executive.

“I’m thrilled to be joining DWP, an amazing organisation that is on an exciting digital journey,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people in my first few weeks and finding out more about this amazing machine. The next few years will bring fresh digital challenges and innovative developments and I relish the chance to be at the DWP Digital helm.”

According to a press release issued by the department today, in the coming months Corbridge will be tasked with “shaping DWP’s digitalisation strategy, ensuring that the right processes, and technologies are designed, used, and integrated, building sustainable digital capability across the department”.

DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield said: “I am delighted to appoint Rich Corbridge as our new chief digital and information officer. Rich has extensive experience in leading major digital transformation projects in retail and the public sector. He has held several senior information and digital technology positions, including roles at Boots, Leeds NHS Trust, eHealth Ireland, and the National Institute for Health Research.”

Sam Trendall

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