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Joanna Shields, for many years a leading executive at a range of global new media companies, is to leave Facebook, where she is Vice-President and Managing Director Europe, Middle East and Africa, to take up the role of Chief Executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), set up in April 2011 as part of UK Trade and Investment to help by attracting inward investment, and supporting companies in the cluster who want to expand into international markets. She will take up the role in January 2013.
In addition to becoming chief executive of TCIO, she will also take up positions as Business Ambassador for the Digital Industries and chairman of the Tech City Advisory Group.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’m delighted that Joanna is joining the Tech City Investment Organisation. The success of Tech City shows just what can happen when we back some of our most innovative and aspiring companies to grow, helping the UK compete and thrive in the global race. Joanna’s experience will be hugely valuable in supporting Tech City as it goes from strength to strength, and as a Business Ambassador promoting the UK around the world.”
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said Shields brought a wealth of experience working with one of the most well-known online companies, and was confident she had the ability to build on this success and bang the drum for the UK digital sector overseas.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said Shields’ appointment was a statement of the UK government’s ambition for overseas trade in this sector and to attract new investment into British businesses.”
Shields said that working in the UK for the past decade had proven to her that the country had the potential to become a major force in digital innovation. “Throughout my career I have had the privilege of working with great entrepreneurs and innovators to create thriving new businesses and industries. The seeds have been sown in East London for a dynamic and successful cluster: we have the infrastructure, the technology and the talent, now we need to accelerate the growth. I am looking forward to leading the Tech City Investment Organisation in the next phase of its development. With the right boost now, there is no reason why we can’t make London the number one location for tech in the world.”
Before joining Facebook, Shields was president at AOL, responsible for social and communications businesses, and previously served as chief executive of Bebo. She has also been Google’s managing director for Europe, Russia, Middle East & Africa.
TCIO was set up in April 2011 as part of UK Trade and Investment to help by attracting inward investment, and supporting companies in the cluster who want to expand into international markets.
Organisations in Tech City now include Google, Intel, Cisco, General Assembly, University College London and Imperial College London.