GDS head Tom Read to step down


After three years in post, and a decade in government, the chief executive of the Government Digital Service has announced he is shortly ‘to move on to a new challenge’

The head of the Government Digital Service Tom Read has revealed that he is to step down from his post and leave government next month.

Read joined the civil service in 2013, when he was appointed as Cabinet Office chief technology officer. He later served as CTO of the then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and chief digital and information officer of the Ministry of Justice – before rejoining GDS as chief executive in early 2021.

The CEO (pictured above) announced in a LinkedIn post this week that “after a wonderful 3.5 years at the helm of GDS, and 10 years in the civil service, I have decided that now is the time for me to move on to a new challenge”.

Read said that he will leave his post “towards the end of June” and that his replacement “will be announced in due course”.


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“In the meantime GDS is in very safe hands with the dream team of Natalie Jones OBE, Erin Robinson, Christine Bellamy, Jonathan Mundy and all of our brilliant, diverse teams,” he wrote.

During his time at GDS, Read has overseen work to create and begin rolling out at scale GOV.UK One Login – the new government-wide system for verifying citizens’ identity, and providing access to departmental services. Over the coming year, the platform is intended to provide a single replacement for what was previously a patchwork of 191 separate accounts used by Whitehall agencies – incorporating 44 different sign-in methods.

In his role at the MoJ, Read led work to make “prisons and probation services… digital first, safer and more focused on rehabilitation”, he told PublicTechnology in a 2018 interview.

His LinkedIn post added: “It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to lead the digital and technology teams at the Government Digital Service, Justice Digital and elsewhere in the UK government.”

Sam Trendall

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