CIO UK columnist and blogger Richard Sykes has been appointed the non executive chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum. Alex Hilton has been appointed CEO.

Dr Sykes, who pens the Leading CIOs column for both the print and online editions for CIO UK, takes on his new responsibilities with immediate effect at the organisation which promotes a code of practice to standardise and certify enterprises offering cloud computing services.

He said: "I am delighted to take on this new role at a time of heightened awareness and interest in the cloud computing model. Over the past few years the Cloud Industry Forum has been at the forefront of agenda setting in the industry and has led the charge for recognised standards within cloud provisioning."

Dr Sykes is best known as a businessman with a breadth of experience that spans the IT industry and the world of arts, but is a scientist by background to PhD level at both Cambridge and Yale. He has held senior executive roles in a major global multinational and non-executive chairmanships in a number of smaller ventures. Richard also served on the board of Intellect for three years.

Richard has a particular expertise in the workings of the IT services and business processes, sourcing and outsourcing marketplaces. In his CIO career Sykes was a business technology leader for chemicals manufacturer ICI.

CIF founder Andy Burton will transition his duties to Dr Sykes and Hilton, and will concentrate on developing organisational research and lobbying activity.

Burton said: "These new appointments demonstrate that CIF has become a mainstream establishment and a trusted voice for the cloud industry, and the management team needs to continue to drive our agenda forward.

"I will stay closely involved in with the future growth and strategy of CIF, but would like to formally welcome Richard and Alex into their new roles as they drive the organisation's agenda."