ACS chief executive Chris Vein set to retire

Australian Computer Society chief executive Chris Vein is set to leave the information technology professionals association at the end of this month after a year-and-a-half in the top job.

Mr Vein, who moved from the US to Australian for the role, will retire at the end of December with a search now underway for a new leader to guide the organisation into the future.

In a statement, the ACS management team said the departure was due to personal and health reasons, thought to have been compounded by his travel schedule to and from the US.

Outgoing Australian Computer Society CEO Chris Vein

A career tech policy and transformation specialist, Mr Vein joined the ACS in May 2022 with the task of reshaping the 57-year-old organisation that represents 47,000 technology professionals.

The appointment followed a period of unprecedented turmoil, which began when a group of members took Federal Court action against the ACS over a planned restructure in 2019.

The in-fighting ended with the departure of the previous chief executive Andrew Johnson in October 2020. ACS’ now director of capability Rupert Grayston subsequently took on the role as an interim appointment for 18 months before the arrival of Chris Vein.

Mr Vein spent much of his first six months at the organisation rebuilding internal capability and refocusing the society on its members, as he explained to earlier this year.

He also sought to elevate the role of the ACS at a time when the Tech Council of Australia was starting to make strides in the policy discussion.

Prior to joining ACS, Mr Vein worked in technology roles across both the public and private sectors, before becoming partner for Global Government Digital Transformation at PwC Australia in 2016.

His longest was a 10-year stint at the City and County of San Francisco, where he worked as city chief information officer and executive director, Department of Technology.

Mr Vein also spent almost two years as the deputy US chief technology officer for government innovation in the Obama Administration.

Other roles include chief innovation officer for global ICT development at the World Bank and assistant vice-president and general manager, western operations at SAIC.

In a statement, Mr Vein thanked the ACS leadership for the “honour of leading such an extraordinary team” over the past 18 months.

“As I step down from my role as CEO, I cannot help but be proud of the transformational journey we have shared,” he said.

“Together we’ve faced challenges, celebrated triumphs, and turned our dreams into tangible successes. My deepest gratitude goes to each team member for their unwavering commitment, creativity and hard work.”

“While I may be leaving, the spirit of innovation, indeed of transformation that defines ACS will continue to propel us forward. I am excited to see what will be accomplished and will always cherish the memories and lessons from this remarkable chapter.”

ACS President Dr Nick Tate thanked Mr Vein for his “extraordinary hard work and commitment over” which has positioned ACS to better serve its members and the wider technology community.

“Chris’ work has redefined ACS and we now move into the next phase of delivering the projects and services launched during his time. ACS is greatly indebted to him, and I wish Chris all the very best for the future.”

“The ACS Management Committee and I would like to thank Chris not only for his service but also for his work in reinventing our organisation. We will now commence the search for a new CEO to guide ACS through the next part of its journey.”

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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