Under a new mayor, Seattle CTO Michael Mattmiller resigns

After four years of service, the city's head technology official says it's time to return to the private sector.

After four years of IT leadership that included heading a massive consolidation effort, Seattle Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller has resigned.

Mattmiller will conclude his work with the city on Feb. 2, and a search for his replacement will begin immediately, according to an announcement from the office of Mayor Jenny Durkan. In the interim, Tracye Cantrell, chief of staff for the technology department, will serve as CTO.

In a statement, Durkan thanked Mattmiller for his service.

“Michael has led one of our largest departments and aimed to make Seattle one of the most innovative cities on the frontline of emerging technology,” said Durkan, who beat out urban planner Cary Moon to become mayor in November.


Mattmiller told StateScoop that he is now evaluating offers from the private sector but hasn’t made a decision yet.

“With the new mayor coming, I’m very confident that things will continue to move in the right direction for technology in the city and it’s time for me to go back into the private sector,” Mattmiller said.

Mattmiller served as CTO during the city’s first successful attempt to consolidate its technology management under a single office.

Michael Mattmiller

The city’s IT consolidation effort, which began with the creation of Seattle Information Technology by Ed Murray in 2015, has, like many government IT consolidation efforts, faced challenges as the city has struggled to reconcile its efficiency goals with siloed data and legacy infrastructure. However, Mattmiller said the city has made tremendous progress.


“I think that creating the consolidated IT department is huge,” Mattmiller said. “It’s something that had been tried several times in the city and didn’t come together. And while organizational change is hard, it is the right thing to do and will continue to mature and improve service in the city.”

As part of the consolidation, Mattmiller also helped consolidate the city’s IT infrastructure — 10 legacy server locations were consolidated into new co-located data centers.

Mattmiller is also credited with leading a wide array of public-facing projects at the city, including its Digital Equity program, which sought to close the digital divide, “offer better quality of life and empower communities through civic and cultural participation,” and offer new educational and economic opportunities for all residents.

Mattmiller — who worked previously as a senior strategist at Microsoft and a risk assurance manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Washington, D.C., area — was also an outspoken advocate of technology as a social equalizer, and led many “smart city” projects within Seattle designed to increase connectivity and access to technology.

During his time with the city, Mattmiller saw the redesign of the municipal website as well as new investments in the city’s open data efforts, including the hire of an open data program manager and an executive order to make the city’s data “open by default” set a new standard for transparency.


In an op-ed written for StateScoop last year, Mattmiller outlined the city’s emphasis on improving broadband internet connectivity, calling internet “the essential utility for the 21st century.” A revision of some of the city’s right of way rules encouraged new investment, and Mattmiller said that 98 percent of homes in the city now have access to gigabit speed broadband thanks to the new investments from private industry that followed.

But now a new mayor has arrived and it’s time to move on, Mattmiller said.

“I’ve been honored to work at the city for four years, and it’s amazing the impact you can have in these roles — it’s been fantastic to work with these great people, Mattmiller said.

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