IBM has lost one of the most senior figures in British IT services and outsourcing, with the departure of Sean Finnan, the former head of IBM Technical Services in the UK.

Finnan was a high profile recruit from EDS in 2009, jumping ship following HP's acquisition of the outsourcer.

Finnan worked at EDS since 1985, and has overseen many of the company's extensive public sector and private sector deals. He was also until this month president of the board at IT industry association Intellect.

An internal memo leaked to the Wall Street Journal when Finnan joined IBM stated: "Sean has a proven track record of high performance in the services business and an exemplary reputation in the marketplace.

"We are very fortunate to have him join IBM and I know that I can count on all of you to assist with his transition as he quickly gets involved in leading some of our key deals and business development efforts."

Richard Holway, chairman at TechMarketView, said of Finnan's move to IBM that he "clearly takes a huge amount of experience and a lifetime of contacts with him."

IBM refused to comment on Finnan's departure, stating curtly: "We don't comment on individual employees."

In May, it was announced that IBM lost out to Gemalto on a DVLA contract worth up to £300m to deliver the administration of the UK driving licence system.

IBM, with Fujitsu, still holds an IT outsourcing contract with the DVLA. The contract for IT and transformation services was extended to 2015 in November 2009, with the contract renegotiation resulting in £17.3 million in savings in 2010-11.