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Symbian has appointed a senior ex-government official as its new chairman.

Sir Peter Gershon, Symbian's new chairman, was chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce. Gershon previously worked for Marconi and BAE Systems before joining the Office of Government Commerce, which oversees the wisdom of government procurement.

Gershon told the FT: "It's an exciting company and it's got some challenges ahead of it," he said. "The company has been very successful to date but you can never rest on your laurels." The mobile operating system firm is owned by various handset makers including Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Gershon will need to balance their desire for a cheap operating system with maintaining Symbian's revenues.

In other civil servant news - Andrew Pinder, ex-e-Envoy, is joining the board of Entrust, a secure sign-on and secure messaging firm. Pinder was the man charged with getting the UK online by 2005, he left his post in August this year.

Bill Conner, chairman, president and chief executive of Entrust welcomed the appointment. He said: "Andrew has served both at the core and at the cutting edge of IT security and e-government innovation, and is well suited to help us implement Entrust's strategic plan. We look forward to his involvement in helping us match our growing technology and services portfolio with the evolving security issues now being faced by governments and businesses throughout the world." ®

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