Metro's head of information technology, Suzanne Peck, who has overseen key initiatives such as expanding cellphone coverage inside Metro's underground stations and tunnels, retired last month.

Peck was a central player in recent complex changes at Metro, such as the historic fare hike last year and efforts to expand the use of SmarTrip cards. However, the need for extensive reprogramming caused delays in implementing the fare increases. Prior to joining Metro, she served as the chief technology officer for the District from 1999 to 2006 and for private companies.

Peck's departure, first reported by the Washington Times, creates another senior position that newly installed Metro General Manager Richard Sarles will have to fill. Sarles has stated that one of his top priorities in the permanent job will be to round out Metro's senior staff, explaining that recruiting for such jobs was difficult when candidates did not know who their boss would be.

Metro board member Jeff McKay told the Washington Examiner Monday that Peck's retirement was abrupt. Employees were notified in a memo dated Feb. 22 that Peck would retire Feb. 25, according to the two reports.