Gig Guide: Public servants on the move


Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Several leading public servants have announced moves this month ahead of the new financial year, while a 32-year-old regulator has been tasked with cleaning up US Big Tech.

The Department of Industry’s general manager of emerging technologies Tim Bradley has jumped to the private sector, joining American behemoth Amazon Web Services as a strategic advisor for federal government.

Mr Bradley spent nearly seven years at the Department of Industry, including three as general manager and a two-year stint in the US.

The Industry Department is gaining Erin Cockram, who has been appointed as general manager financial management.

Katie Heathcote is leaving Austrade to join New South Wales Treasury next month, where she will be associate director for technology and assist companies to export globally.

South Australia has a new chief information and security officer, promoting Office for Cyber Security deputy director Will Luker into the role late last month to replace the state government’s inaugural information chief David Goodman who resigned in January.

32 year old Big Tech critic Lina Khan has been appointed chair of the US Federal Trade Commission

US Big Tech collectively shuddered this week when President Joe Biden named Lina Khan as chair of the Federal Trade Commission. Ms Khan is an antitrust researcher critical of the immense market power of firms like Facebook, Amazon and Google, and will lead the regulator as it launches several antitrust cases.

The UK-born Khan is just 32 years old and argues there is a “systemic trend across the US” of consolidating markets and that current laws aren’t well equipped to deal with the large technology companies.

“These firms essentially provide infrastructure to the digital age,” she told the BBC earlier this year.

“A small group of private executives are setting the rules of who gets to use the infrastructure and on what terms.”

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, another critic of US Big Tech, welcomed the appointment.

“With Chair Khan at the helm, we have a huge opportunity to make big, structural change by reviving antitrust enforcement and fighting monopolies that threaten our economy, our society, and our democracy,”  Senator Warren said.

Back home and Mark Perry has left Ping Identity after eight years, including five as the APAC technology chief. He joins banking and compliance software Biza.io as chief customer officer, where he will focus on the company’s open banking push.

One of Australia’s leading open banking players Regional Australia Bank has a new chief executive office, announcing David Heine will lead the company from July.

Mr Heine has a background in IT, and electronic payments, and joins Regional Australia Bank from Linfox Armaguard.

Squiz co-founder John-Paul Syriatowicz has been promoted to Chairperson after being managing director of the customer experience software company for more than 22 years.

Margaret Maile Petty has stepped down as University of Technology Sydney’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship executive director after nearly four years in the role.

Professor Maile Petty announced the move on LinkedIn, reflecting on highlights like launching the UTS Startups program.

And finally, executives of the troubled Australian technology company Nuix have stepped down after an investigation by Nine newspapers exposed serious culture and governance issues.

On Tuesday the company announced chief financial officer Stephen Doyle had been “terminated by mutual agreement” before later revealing chief executive Rod Vawdrey had given notice of his decision to retire.

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