Florida Chief Information Officer Eric Larson has resigned after more than four years in a variety of roles with the state’s information technology agency.
An automated email response from Larson’s government email address states, “I am no longer with the Agency for State Technology,” which is Florida IT bureau.
Larson’s message did not specify a reason for his departure, but it comes a week after the inauguration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. An AST spokeswoman deferred to DeSantis’ office about leadership at the agency. DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to questions about Larson’s successor.
Newly sworn-in governors in Florida traditionally ask agency heads to submit letters of resignation as a formality, with some being accepted.
Larson joined AST shortly after the agency was formed in 2014 as its chief operating officer and was later promoted to statewide chief technology officer. He became interim CIO in February 2017 with the resignation of Jason Allison and was later appointed to the job in a permanent capacity.
As CIO, Larson focused on moving legacy systems off the state’s aging mainframe computers, though state lawmakers did not give him the authority to migrate state files to a cloud-based service. He succeeded in hiring Florida’s first geographic information officer, Ekaterina Fitos, a former biologist for the state Department of Environmental Protection, who started in January 2018.
But Larson’s tenure was also marked by attempts by Tallahassee lawmakers to upend his agency. AST was the fourth version of a statewide tech office in 12 years when it was created in 2014. A 2017 bill passed by the Florida state legislature would’ve slashed its budget by $6.1 million and hollowed out its staff, though this attempt was vetoed by then-Gov. Rick Scott.