David Varney, former chairman of BT spin off mmo2, took over at HM Revenue & Customs yesterday and has already taken steps to change the culture of the combined tax department.
One of the first recommendations made by Varney was to separate the department’s marketing and communications divisions, which has led to the resignation of current director Ian Schoolar. The search for a replacement will begin this weekend.
Although Varney only officially took on the role this week, he has been unofficially involved for several months, and other changes are expected in the coming weeks.
Matthew Key, chief financial officer of O2, who used to work with David Varney when he was at parent company mmo2, described him as a ‘professional, first-class chairman’.
Key sits on the government’s economic affairs committee and said the group had discussed how government could benefit more from industry’s experience. ‘By moving David – a very professional, first-class chairman, who has been in industry ðinto the government sector – I would hope that there will be some real benefits as a result.’
Varney is also expected to announce the appointment of a chief information officer to look after the merging of the two department’s IT systems within the coming weeks.