Cenitex chief executive announces departure

January 29, 2019


After more than seven years at the helm of Victorian Government IT shared service provider, Cenitex, Michael Vanderheide has announced his time as chief executive is coming to an end.

Michael’s stewardship of Cenitex has seen the organisation through significant technology transformations and ensured it has safely weathered many storms and challenges.  

The decision to leave was a difficult one for Michael but he said the time is right for him to move on to new opportunities and experiences.

“I have decided that after more than seven years, it is in both my interests and those of the organisation for someone new to take the reins. My feelings are mixed because in that time, together we’ve driven some amazing change.”

Under Michael’s leadership, Cenitex has gone from annual losses in the tens of millions of dollars to strong and sustainable annual profits. He has overseen the large-scale adoption of cloud services, leading the migration of over 35,000 Victorian Government employees to Office 365 and to all the enhanced productivity and collaboration opportunities this affords. Recently, Michael championed a major restructure of Cenitex’s cost model that reduced the price of services and delivered those savings directly back to customers, simultaneously growing revenue and introducing new services.  

Michael is driving Cenitex’s largest technology transformation that will, over the next 12 months, see the shift to software defined services and a cloud-based desktop environment, further enhancing resilience, enabling greater responsiveness and reducing cost. 

“I know I’ll be leaving at a time when our transformation is not complete,” Michael said. “There’s rarely a right time to leave a role, but I’m absolutely confident that the highly skilled team I’ll be leaving behind will continue to drive innovation and success for us and our customers.”

Michael’s commitment hasn’t just been to technology and process transformation, he has reset the business approach to a customer first model.

"Everything starts and ends with the customer. Our focus must expand beyond our technology and processes, to a truly meaningful engagement with our customer base. To that end, we are working in partnership with our customers to ensure our business and people strategies, development of services and overall shared services model align with and proactively anticipate their current and future needs. In an environment like ours where there is no government mandate to use our services, a customer first approach is critical to keep and grow our customer base.”

Recognising that a customer first approach is also closely linked to employee experience, a culture of resilience and collaboration at Cenitex has also been created under Michael’s watch that has helped achieve a significant fall in staff attrition to an industry-beating level of 6% - from an annual peak of 19%.

Michael will continue to lead Cenitex over the next few months as the Board begin their search for a new chief executive.


Media contact: Kim Sullivan 0408 880 718  |  kim.sullivan@cenitex.vic.gov.au