GSA appoints former Pixar exec to head TTS

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The General Services Administration announced Rob Cook as the new commissioner of the Technology Transformation Service. 

Cook, a former software engineer and executive with Pixar, will start his tenure Oct. 31. 

“Rob is someone who has considerable experience both in delivering great technology and in building great organizations,” GSA Administrator Denise Roth said in a statement. “I can’t think of a better or more qualified individual to take our emerging technology efforts at GSA to the next level.”

U.S. CIO Tony Scott added: “We are thrilled to welcome Rob Cook to the federal government. Rob’s renowned experience, both as a software developer and in cultivating innovative teams throughout his career, are incredible additions to our long-term goal of enhancing the way government uses technology to deliver world-class services for citizens.”

GSA created TTS earlier this year to serve as the federal government’s leading technology unit and help other agencies launch digital products and services.

Phaedra Chrousos served as the first commissioner of TTS before she left government in July. Since then, GSA CIO David Shive has filled in as acting commissioner.

During his first stint at Pixar until 1989, Cook co-architected its RenderMan Software, used to produce 19 of the last 20 films that’ve won Oscars for visual effects. Cook left his post at Pixar in 1989 to found his own digital imaging company, Light Source, which created the Ofoto software before sale to X-Rite. He was also CEO of Numinous, which was bought by Microsoft, before returning to Pixar as vice president of software development. 

“I’m excited by the possibility of transforming the way the government interacts with people,” Cook said. “We need three things to succeed: first-rate technology expertise, effective relations with industry and great partners throughout government. Close collaboration with our agency colleagues is crucial to making this possibility a reality.”

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