Tom Baden, the head of Minnesota Information Technology Services — which builds and maintains the state’s IT infrastructure, projects and services — announced Thursday that he is retiring.
His last day as IT services commissioner and the state’s chief information officer is Feb. 2. His departure comes as the IT organization grapples with complaints about the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, which has caused delays for Minnesotans trying to get vehicle titles, renew their tabs or transfer license plates.
Baden, who has worked in state government for 36 years, said in a statement that he is retiring now to recover from unforeseen complications stemming from some health issues.
“In the coming days, Governor Dayton will begin an active search for a new State Chief Information Officer,” he said in a statement. “It has been the honor of a lifetime leading MNIT and watching us grow as an organization.”
A spokeswoman with the department said Baden was not available for further comment Thursday.
Dayton appointed Baden as the state’s IT services commissioner and chief information officer in 2015. He oversees a staff of about 2,200.
Baden previously led the IT team for the Department of Human Services and helped handle the rocky rollout of the MNsure health insurance exchange. He has worked with various state departments over the years, including the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
His biography on the state’s website says he is a seasoned singer-guitarist who likens IT to the nuances of a rock performance, where everyone must be in sync.
“It’s our job to ensure that the ‘performers’ and ‘instruments’ in our environment are playing in unison — helping to provide the essential services that Minnesotans rely upon,” it states.