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State Technology Veteran Cave Named Chief Product Officer

“I’m thrilled to be joining CDT as the state’s first chief product officer,” Michael Cave said. “This is an outstanding opportunity to help both CDT and the state of California.”

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The state’s chief technology innovator has added a key member to his growing team.

Michael Cave, a veteran of state government, will be the California Department of Technology’s first chief product officer. His appointment was announced Tuesday by Rick Klau, the state’s chief technology innovation officer and director of CDT’s Office of Enterprise Technology (OET). Cave will start his new role on Sept. 20.
Michael Cave cropped.jpg
Michael Cave

Cave, who has nearly 20 years of state service, has been in IT management and leadership roles for 17 of those years. Since 2018, he served as Document Management System infrastructure operations section manager for the Employment Development Department (EDD).

Cave’s professional experience includes progressively responsible technology roles in state agencies including the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Transportation, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the State Board of Equalization, the State Treasurer’s Office and EDD.

He is a graduate of the state’s 2016 IT Leadership Academy and a recipient of a 2017 CIO Academy IT Leadership Award, as well as recipient of the 2019 CalHR Leadership Academy Emerging Leader Award.

Klau, who has been building out his department since joining the state in February and focusing on technology related to the state’s COVID-19 response, told Techwire he’s eager to have Cave join OET.

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Michael to the CDT team,” Klau said in an email. “His years of experience at the state coupled with the enthusiasm he brings to the role made him the right person at the right time for this critical position. He will be responsible for leading the product and engineering teams within the Office of Enterprise Technology at an important time in OET’s development. As OET builds and ships an increasing number of products across the state, Michael’s leadership and creativity ensures we rise to the challenge.”

Cave said he, too, is excited about his new role.

“I’m thrilled to be joining CDT as the state’s first chief product officer,” he said. “This is an outstanding opportunity to help both CDT and the state of California. I will help lead digital transformation in the product management arena by providing thought leadership and functioning as a bridge to connect people, processes and technology in ways that add long-term value for our citizens.”

Since starting as the state’s chief technology innovation officer in February, Klau has been immersed in initiatives related to COVID-19 vaccine verification and other projects related to the state’s pandemic response. He has said that his focus for the near term is adding expertise to his OET team. Klau will be the subject of an upcoming Techwire virtual briefing, which will be available to Techwire members.
Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.