The Mayor of London is hiring a chief digital officer for the capital, advertised at a cool £107,000.
The job advert on the Greater London Assembly website says:
As London's CDO, working in the Mayor's Office, you will convene GLA officials, the Smart London Board, local authorities and the technology sectors to encourage collaboration and adoption of common standards around data and service transformation, to drive the development of smart city technology, and to build London's reputation as the city that the world looks to for leadership in urban innovation.
It continues: "You will be a powerful advocate for technology and have the communication and diplomatic skills to convene and influence a wide range of external stakeholders."
We read all this guff and frankly we're none the wiser about what this role would actually contribute to... well, anything. Perhaps unwisely, we tried searching for a definition of "chief digital officer". This led us to CIO.co.uk, who burbled: "Chief Digital Officers are considered both the new stars of the C-suite as well as faddish or transitory roles which will eventually go away – a view even held by a number of CDOs themselves." Even the people currently in these roles realise that they're doing non-jobs.
The CIO show also noted that two years ago the average UK salary for one of these faddish transitories was £114,750, meaning tight-fisted Khan is underpaying by a good few grand once inflation is taken into account. The post's headline salary also doesn't include things such as the "interest-free bicycle loan" offered with it as a perk.
The London mayor's official marketing agency, London & Partners (don't vomit, it's unseemly) claims the credit for devising the London Tech Week event, which seems to run quite happily without needing a CDO. Similarly, the driverless car trials in the southeastern borough of Greenwich are also pootling along quite happily without needing a CDO, and tech standardisation is in its usual happy multinational bun-fighting state – also not needing a London CDO.
We briefly pondered asking tech hipsters from Shoreditch what they thought of this wheeze but dismissed it as a waste of both your and our valuable desk-based skiving time. ®