As recent as this month, Frank spoke at a government employees meet up group about his forthcoming plans for the city’s IT direction. Frank will maintain some ties, serving as chair of the newly formed Mayor’s Advisory Board on Technology, in which he will remain involved in these projects.
“In actuality, there is no perfect time to leave,” Frank told Technically Philly. “I am confident in the new DOT leadership and talent I have attracted to continue the momentum.”
His last day, before returning to the private sector, will be Feb. 1, 2011 and, pending a national search for his replacement, Tommy Jones, the city’s first Deputy Chief Information Officer, will serve as interim CTO.
Jones became Deputy CIO after two years in a comparable role with the Washington D.C. city government.
Frank first joined city government in July 2008 as Mayor Nutter’s Chief Information Officer. A year later, in July 2009, Frank was officially made the city’s first Chief Technology Officer, consolidating IT from 33 city agencies.
Frank says he will return to management consulting “in the short run to pay the bills,” but he plans to build another technology company — following AnswerThink, a consultancy he founded and led from 1997 t0 March 2006.
“Stay tuned,” he said.
In the official release, Frank is credited with four major accomplishments in nearly two and a half years of service:
- City of Philadelphia chosen for inaugural Code for America team of developers — May 2010
- Part of ‘unprecedented’ $120 million IT budget — March 2010
- Led push to ultimately receive citywide $18 million of IT-related federal stimulus funding — September 2009
- Consolidated all IT infrastructure across city government into single Division of Technology — July 2009
Of course, there were also shortcomings:
- In March 2010, Frank started an abortive push for Google’s experimental ‘super ultra-highspeed broadband.’
- In April 2010, Frank announced the city would release the following month a 311 smartphone application. That never happened, though it seems like a part of the Code for America team’s focus.
Frank also mentioned that he promised his family that his tenure would be no more than two to three years, having taken a “large pay cut” and moved with his wife and son inside city limits to fulfill residency requirements.
Frank was the city’s second-highest paid employee, at $209,000 annually, reports the Inquirer. The city’s chief medical officer, Sam Gulino, is paid $239,200.
“I took a turn into public service… It’s now about an ongoing strategy execution,” he said. “As for why now? It’s best to have leadership through the next stage of the journey. I pointed the way to the promised land, so to speak. It’s a new year soon. Why not now?