Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Doug Ducey is a Republican, not a Democrat.
The top three technology executives in Arizona simultaneously announced their resignation on Wednesday with plans to work together in the private sector.
The resignations include state chief information officer Aaron Sandeen, deputy chief information officer Philip Manfredi and chief technology officer Kiran Chinnagangannagari. Their last day on the job will be Jan. 2.
Their departure comes a month after Gov. Jan Brewer fired Brian McNeil, the director of the Arizona Department of Administration, who was the subject of a racial and sexual discrimination complaint. McNeil denied any wrongdoing. Sandeen denied that there was any connection.
“We are looking for new opportunities,” Sandeen said Thursday in an interview with the Arizona Republic. “It has been the coolest, most amazing opportunity under Gov. Brewer. But the technology field is such a hot commodity right now, and we are going to do something different. We have been big risk takers, and we see this as a prime time in our lives.”
Sandeen was appointed the state’s CIO in 2011. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy director and CIO of Arizona’s Government Information Technology Agency, better known as GITA. He also served as the deputy director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery where he put in place a system to track more than $3 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding coming to Arizona.
Prior to joining state government, Sandeen worked with UnitedHealth Group as director of the Project Management Office. In this role, he was tasked with project management and executing the Arizona Children’s Rehabilitative Services Program for AmeriChoice APIPA. He also led the enactment of the new CRS line of business that included more than 20,000 members and 2,700 providers.
Additionally, Sandeen has worked in the private sector for Intel, Microsoft and Syntellect.
Manfredi has been with the state since May 2011, after coming over from Syntellect. Chinnagangannagari has served as the state’s CTO since July 2011 but has been with the state since 2008 when he joined government as an information technology manager.
Sandeen is the latest state CIO to step down. Last month, Arkansas Chief Technology Officer Claire Bailey announced her resignation for health reasons while Texas Chief Information Officer Karen Robinson announced she would retire from public service at the end of the year.
More changes are likely to come as a result of the latest gubernatorial elections as 10 new governors will take office in the coming months and each is likely to bring a new technology head with them.
Arizona is one of those states, as Republican Doug Ducey will replace Brewer, who was unable to run because of term limits, after winning the state’s election earlier this month. The choice for Sandeen’s replacement and the direction of the state’s technology will likely wait until he’s settled into office.