ITPNZ (IT Professionals New Zealand) and ACS (Australian Computer Society) have both appointed new CEOs this year after rigorous search processes.

New Zealand – Victoria MacLennan took over the reins at ITPNZ in March this year. She was previously Managing Director of (data and information specialists) and (financial services) alongside an equity and inclusion lens with previous involvement with Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa and other initiatives. 

ITPNZ President Anthony Dowling said Victoria has brought a strong digital tech industry perspective and a history of getting things done.

“Victoria served several years as co-chair of industry body NZRise, representing NZ-owned tech companies to Government and others, she chairs Digital Future Aotearoa and has a long list of other tech community involvement,” he said.

“She has a fundamental understanding of the role of the profession and a professional body, having worked alongside ITPNZ for many years in a voluntary capacity.”

Ms MacLennan’s updated LinkedIn profile highlights her vision for her new role to: “help change the face of the tech industry – helping us collectively embrace manaakitanga (ED: hospitality, respect and care), focus on diversity, create new pathways into the workforce, support reskilling and upskilling and help the digital technology industry solve large complex challenges like equity, sustainability and climate change.”

Mr Dowling paid tribute to out-going CEO Paul Matthews, saying, “He has done a great job of leading the organisation over the last 14 years. Paul is leaving to pursue other opportunities and we are hugely grateful for the massive contribution he has made to the profession.”

Australia – Across the Tasman, Chris Vein became the new ACS CEO in May, replacing interim CEO, Rupert Grayston. A US citizen previously based in California, he was already an ACS member and had presented on behalf of ACS at a roadshow in 2016. 

He brings with hm extensive local and international experience across the tech sector from roles including Partner, Global Government Digital Transformation at PWC Australia, Chief Innovation Officer for Global ICT Development at the World Bank; Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation at the White House; City CIO and Executive Director, Department of Technology for the City and County of San Francisco; and the Assistant Executive Director for Marketing, American Psychological Association, Practice Directorate.

Mr Vein told ACS InformationAge that this is an incredible time for him to join ACS and he has big goals for the society.

“To build on the past, understand how to empower in the present but focus on the future, translating our insight into practical ways to drive change. All powered by technology,” he said.

“Our members live in communities across Australia and are affected by our education system, the organisations where they work, and the government that provides policies. I believe ACS must provide our members with tools to help our friends in education, business, and government achieve their unique missions. ACS can then create an opportunity for our members to drive change and prosper from it as well.

“This means actively working with organisations across Australia and understanding their needs; provide the research, tools, and advice that the market needs; increase the diversity of our field by focusing on the full range or tech talent, from those with university degrees to those who were taught or taught themselves to be coders or gamers, to those who need reskilling; and examine the range of exciting new technologies including AI, quantum computing, biotechnology, and gaming.”

He said that by bringing somebody in from outside of Australia, ACS gets different perspectives, new approaches, and a wealth of relationships with worldwide experts.

He believes that in addition to remaining profitable, ACS must focus more on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the environment, or the “triple bottom line”.

“We know our members are unique and diverse,” Vein says.

“Some members are perhaps more traditionally aligned with the original intent of ACS, others such as international students and new entrepreneurs, may not be as traditionally focused.

“We need to look at that full range of membership, ask them what their needs are, and look at which products and services provide value. If we need to, we will create new products and services and drop those that don’t provide value.”