Tired of tussle over pub licence, Kerala IT Parks CEO quits

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: John M Thomas has quit as the Kerala IT Parks CEO, dealing the state’s information technology sector a telling blow at a time when the government is taking several proactive steps. John cited personal reasons, but it is learnt that he tendered his resignation following a tussle with a bar hotel owner close to the Left government over the issuing of licence to open a pub inside the IT park here.

John told TNIE that he has quit, but denied his resignation was a fallout of the alleged tussle. John was leading the state’s three major IT parks — Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, Infopark in Kochi and Cyberpark in Kozhikode. Sources said a decision on accepting his resignation would be taken once Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is back from the US next week.

“He (John) has not resigned. He expressed his desire to be relieved. But the government has not decided anything so far,” Electronics and IT Principal Secretary Biswanath Sinha said. If the government decides to accept his resignation, then it may go for separate CEOs for each of the above three IT parks.

John was holding additional charge as the CEO of Kerala Startup Mission. His exit comes at a crucial juncture when the state government takes measures to set up IT parks in rural areas and expand the existing IT and startup ecosystem. Sources said that after completing three months’ notice period, he would return to the US where his family is settled.

John took over as Kerala IT Parks CEO in March last year. He oversaw the charting of the Technocity’s master plan, but the project is still in its nascent stage. Technocity, which is being developed as part of the fourth-phase development of the Technopark, is situated on 390 acres of land. Technocity has a 30-million sqft built-up space with multiple buildings. A mechanical engineering graduate from National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode, John earned an MBA in information systems, operations and finance from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

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