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Massachusetts names CIO to replace Peter Quinn

The appointment of a new CIO for Massachusetts comes with unambiguous support for the state's decision to adopt OpenDocument Format.

The administration of Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts has named a permanent replacement for former CIO Peter...

Quinn, the state's embattled top technology officer who resigned in January.

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Louis Gutierrez, chief technology strategist at the Commonwealth Medicine Division of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a graduate of Harvard College and MIT Sloan School of Management, will become chief information officer Feb. 6. He takes over from acting CIO Bethann Pepoli, who will become deputy chief information officer.

Quinn resigned after facing legislative opposition and personal attacks while leading the state's drive to adopt the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for storing electronic documents. This week a statement from the governor's office reaffirmed the state's commitment to ODF and its ambitious deadline for adopting the new format.

The statement explained that Gutierrez will be responsible for overseeing "the final stages of implementation" of a policy that will go into effect January 2007.

The Commonwealth's decision to standardize electronic records on ODF is being watched closely by other states, as much for its hardball politics as its implications for state technology.

The decision has played out as a battle between proponents of open source and software giant Microsoft, with each side accusing the other of improperly lobbying state officials.

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Gutierrez is no stranger to Massachusetts politics. Prior to his position at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Gutierrez was CIO for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the state's largest secretariat with 23,000 staff members and more than $12 billion in annual spending. There, he led the development of the state's Virtual Gateway, an online portal that integrated the Web presence of 16 agencies. Gutierrez also held top IT positions at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the Federal Reserve system.

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