Rob Fitzpatrick quits the AIIA

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) said on Thursday that its chief executive officer, Rob Fitzpatrick, has resigned and will move to a new role at an early stage tech startup.

The AIIA has started the search for a new CEO to replace Fitzpatrick who will leave on 23 November.

In a statement, AIIA chairman, John Paitaridis, expressed his gratitude for Fitzpatrick’s service to the ICT sector and the association’s members since he joined as CEO in February 2016.

“Rob has served with integrity, passion and resolve for more than two-and-a-half years to successfully further the objectives of the AIIA to represent and advocate for technology-led innovation in Australia’s digital ecosystem,” he said.

“On behalf of the AIIA board, members, partners, staff and volunteers, we thank him for his service and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career,” Paitaridis said.

Paitaridis said the AIIA has never been more critical to Australia.

“As technology transforms every aspect of our lives, the AIIA’s mission is to work with industry and government to help shape policy and encourage investment and collaboration in Australia with a strategic focus including skills, innovation and digitalisation of the economy.

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick said he was proud of his achievements while CEO. These included putting in place a multi-year strategic plan – with the help of staff and the board – to drive a ‘policy-focused’ agenda, build relationships with corporate Australia, and support digital innovation through the iAwards program.

“My passion to fuel Australia’s future social and economic prosperity through technology innovation has never been greater and I will continue to be a strong supporter of the AIIA. I am committed to a seamless transition phase over the next few months to ensure my successor and the AIIA have the greatest opportunity for continued success,” he said.

Fitzpatrick expressed his disappointment in Australia’s innovation agenda in an opinion article for CIO Australia last March. He said the federal government had lost its way with innovation.

“There’s no shortage of competing political priorities, of course, but there seems to be a simplistic view that innovation, social change and risk taking with technology doesn’t win votes.”

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