Raleigh, N.C. — Chris Estes is stepping down as the state's chief information officer to return to the private sector, Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday.
"Chris has been instrumental in modernizing the state’s information technology operations," McCrory said in a statement. "Not only has he saved the taxpayers millions of dollars, the customer-first attitude he brought from his private sector experience has made it easier for individual citizens and small business owners to interact and do business with state government."
Estes help transform the state's IT operations into a cabinet-level Department of Information Technology to provide accountability and efficiency for the governance and management of 2,200 IT professionals across the state. He also started the Innovation Center as a proving ground where state agencies, private industry and students collaborate in a “try before you buy” approach to testing technology systems before the state invests in them.
"I would like to thank Gov. McCrory for the opportunity to serve in his administration," Estes said in a statement. "Gov. McCrory’s leadership in using technology to be more efficient and effective in serving the citizens sets him apart from other governors and even private-sector CEOs."
Estes plans to return to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. His last day will be next Sunday.
Deputy State Chief Information Officer Keith Werner will serve as acting CIO.