John Suffolk, the former UK government Chief Information Officer, will join the Chinese telecommunication company Huawei as its Global Cyber Security Officer (GCSO).
Suffolk will be based at Huawei’s headquarters at Shenzhen in China. He will develop and implement the company’s cyber security programme into solutions covering cloud computing and telecommunications, among others, to prevent hacking attempts and to improve the flow of communication between governments and citizens. He will directly report to Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei.
Suffolk has obtained the required permission from British Prime Minister David Cameron and will join the company on 1 October after having served the necessary break of six months between leaving the government and joining Huawei. Suffolk will also not get involved with work relating to the government for two years. Brushing aside apprehensions about the full terms of his appointment, he has put the full text of the relevant section from the letter following the approval from the Prime Minister putting down the conditions on his blog.
Writing in his blog, he said, “Security was a core part of my thinking, planning and execution. We all accept that as technology becomes more pervasive and we become more reliant on technology we need to come together globally to address the challenges and threats posed by those who would wish to exploit any vulnerability in the technology.”
Suffolk worked as the CIO and Chief Information Risk Officer with the UK government between 2006 and 2010 and was behind many successful projects. A strong supporter of reforms, Suffolk cut the UK government’s spending by £3.2 billion by moving all government software and IT services into the G-Cloud.
Prior to the CIO role with the UK government, Suffolk had worked as director general at the UK Criminal Justice Transformation Programme. He has been advising governments on the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the public sector and a country’s socio-economic growth across the world in the capacity of Global Transformation and Technology Advisor at the World Bank since he stepped down as CIO in 2010.
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