Government seeks official to manage relationship with tech titans

Salary of almost £70k on offer for head of Big Tech Strategic Engagement Unit
Buildings in California's Silicon Valley region Credit: Patrick Nouhailler/CC BY-SA 2.0

By Sam Trendall

10 May 2021

A recruitment process is underway for a senior executive to “manage the government’s relationship with the world’s most powerful technology companies”.

An annual salary of up to £68,310 is on offer for a role heading up the Big Tech Strategic Engagement Unit that sits within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The position will be “both policy- and engagement-focused”, according to the job advert, and comes with responsibility for setting the overall strategic direction of the unit in its work to “determine and develop the broader relationship HM Government should have with big tech”. The postholder will also oversee the work of six people, with direct line-managing responsibility for half of those.

The advert said: “The unit works extensively across Whitehall to create a strategic and coordinated approach to the government's relationship with the biggest tech companies, fulfil partnership opportunities and deliver against the needs and demands of this hugely exciting portfolio of companies.”

In addition to helming the big tech-focused team, the successful candidate will serve as deputy director of DCMS’s Digital Strategy Unit.

This position will include a remit to set the strategy of DCMS’s Digital and Media Group, in addition to “coordinating cross-cutting work including on Spending Review and fiscal planning, raising DMG’s profile across Whitehall, including supporting ministerial and senior official appearances at relevant cross-Whitehall fora, and potentially leading on priority projects”.

The deputy directorship of the Digital Strategy Unit will involve line management of two civil servants and oversight of a further four.

Applications are open until 11.55pm on Monday.

Candidates are invited to submit their CV and a “statement of suitability” for the role of up to 1,000 words.

Interviews – during which candidates will be asked to deliver a presentation – will take place via Google Hangouts at a date to be confirmed.

The chosen applicant will be based at one of DCMS’s regional hubs. Two of these, in London and Manchester, are currently up and running, with more to be added in due course.

Sam Trendall is the editor of CSW's sister title PublicTechnology, where a version of this story first appeared.

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