WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Former Microsoft executive Steven VanRoekel has been named U.S. technology chief, the White House announced.
VanRoekel, 41, becomes chief information officer, succeeding Vivek Kundra, 36, who was the first to take on the IT position when it was created in 2009, a White House release said Friday.
VanRoekel said he would work to introduce new technologies to improve government service as well as focus on cutting costs in an age of austerity.
"The productivity gap between where the private sector has gone over the last two decades and where government has gone is ever-widening," he told
The Washington Post.
Government must increase its spending on new technology, which "can be done in a way that actually saves money, saves resources and everything else," he said.
VanRoekel will oversee an annual spending budget of $80 billion for the U.S. government, the world's largest customer for information technology services and products.
VanRoekel spent 15 years at Microsoft before becoming the managing director of the Federal Communications Commission in 2009.