Job Title : CIO

Organization : London Borough of Newham

Richard Steel is not afraid of courting controversy and famously hit the headlines after ditching Linux trials and signing a new licensing deal for the London Borough of Newham with Microsoft after concluding it offered better value.

After starting his career in merchant banking Steel joined Newham in 1989 and progressed through various IT management roles before becoming CIO responsible for ICT and information governance strategy, infrastructure and systems.

He was also instrumental in setting up the council’s Caboodle Solutions joint venture with IT services company Steria. Under Steel’s leadership Newham achieved the government’s electronic service delivery targets of putting services online almost two years ahead of the 2005 deadline.

Steel is active in various IT industry bodies including the Society of IT Managers (Socitm) public-sector user group, and has contributed to wider infrastructure and standards debates through the government’s Common Infrastructure Board and the Nomad Wireless Forum.

Motor sport is among his hobbies and Steel recently went on a TVR tour of Portugal.