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Mayor Sadiq Khan Seeks London’s First Chief Digital Officer

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Fancy a salary of £100,000 plus? Consider applying to be London’s first Chief Digital Officer

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has finally got around to fulfilling one of his campaign pledges, namely the hiring of London’s first ever Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

The position is apparently to help Mayor Khan fulfil his desire for London “to be the world’s leading ‘smart city’.

And there should be no shortage of candidates considering the attractive package on offer, which includes a salary of £106,952 per annum; 30 days holiday; interest free season ticket loan; interest free bicycle loan; childcare voucher scheme; and a pension scheme.

Sadiq Khan 3Tech Hub

The position is open to everyone “regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability,” the job advert states.

Indeed, it seems that flexible working arrangements would be considered, as would those seeking part time work “as this role is open to job share.”

But what exactly would London’s CDO be expected to do?

Well, the Mayor’s office touts the fact that London is currently regarded as Europe’s leading technology hub, with more than 40,000 digital technology companies in the capital, employing approximately 250,000 people.

And that is only set to grow in the years ahead.

The job listing points out that London already utilises smart technologies such as ticketing and contactless technology on the transport network, and also has the London Datastore – a free resource where people can access data relating to the city itself.

london city hall

Job Responsbilities

But the CDO will apparently be expected to ensure that London’s tech expertise is used to transform the way that public services are delivered in London, making them more accessible, efficient, and better suited to the needs of Londoners.

“London is a world-leading hub for digital technology, data science and urban innovation,” said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. “These technologies have the potential to transform the way that Londoners and visitors experience our city.”

“I want to take the digital transformation of our public services to the next level, so we can improve the ways in which we plan and deliver public services for Londoners,” he said. “I am delighted to begin my search for a Chief Digital Officer, so we can make London an even smarter smart city and use our incredible technological abilities to the best effect.”

The idea is that the CDO will work in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, the Mayor’s Smart London Board, local authorities and the tech sector to encourage collaboration and adoption of common standards.

The CDO will also work with the Smart London Board and City Hall to develop and deliver a new Smart London Strategy, that will “open up London to innovation through smart technologies and programmes.”

In addition, the CDO will also anticipate the impacts of new disruptive and transformative technologies (best keep reading Silicon UK then) and ensure timely responses from the GLA group.

The CDO will also promote and support the implementation of the Mayor’s digital inclusion and cyber-security policies.

Last year there was questions about London’s leading position as a European tech hub following the Brexit vote, as a study found that London tech firms overwhelmingly opposed Britain’s exit of the EU.

Quiz: What do you know about London’s technology scene?