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Deputy State CIO Rogers Retiring This Month

Richard Rogers, who’s been a technologist and ground-breaking IT executive in state government for decades, is leaving the California Department of Technology but plans to work as a retired annuitant.

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Richard Rogers, a veteran of state technology governance and leadership, is retiring from the California Department of Technology (CDT) at the end of the month.

Rogers has been the state’s deputy chief information officer and chief deputy director of CDT since July. Before that, he was the state’s chief technology officer (CTO) — the first person to hold that title. His last day will be Feb. 28, and he plans to resume working in state technology as a retired annuitant.

“Richard’s rich history of state service and detailed knowledge of public technology make him a valuable asset to California,” said State CIO and CDT Director Amy Tong. “He has worked tirelessly, especially during the pandemic, and his contributions to the people of this state have been significant, as has his guidance within the tech community. I wish him the very best in retirement.”  

Though he’s giving up his role as the state’s second-ranking technology executive, Rogers said the transition won’t be abrupt for him or the department.

“One thing about working for the state: There really is no ending point,” he told Techwire in an email Tuesday. “There is so much more that I would like to have accomplished with my state career, but I feel that I am handing this over at the right time and into the right hands.”

Though CDT has seen several executives retire or resign in the last year and a half, new leaders are filling the leadership ranks:

As CDT’s chief deputy director and the deputy state CIO, Rogers succeeded Chris Cruz, an award-winning IT leader who left CDT two years ago to become San Joaquin County’s CIO and director of the Information Systems Division. 

“It was a pleasure working with Richard over the last several years in different capacities,” Cruz told Techwire in an email. “We accomplished a lot during our tenure at CDT in standing up a dedicated statewide cloud solution, implementing a Security Operations Center at the Data Center, enterprise statewide email solution and an enterprise architecture strategy. I wish him and his family all the best with their future endeavors and hope he enjoys a well-deserved retirement.”

In reflecting on his career and the timing of his retirement, Rogers on Tuesday shared with Techwire a few personal and professional observations and insights.

“I had a moment to think about my career in this Black History Month,” he wrote, adding the following bullet points:

  • “My parents were classmates of Martin Luther King Jr.”  
  • “I followed my dad and brothers into working for the state.”
  • “I became the first state CTO in California with my appointment by Gov. Jerry Brown.” 
  • “My Senate confirmation for the state CTO role occurred on April 4, which was the anniversary of MLK’s assassination.”
  • “I had the honor being the highest Black in state IT with my appointment to state deputy CIO by Gov. Gavin Newsom.”   
Techwire will further explore Rogers’ career highlights and his perspectives in the coming days.

Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.