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David Cameron appointed Joanna Shields to lead the government’s technology initiatives in October 2012, focusing around Silicon Roundabout in east London. Shields left her job as the managing director of Facebook in Europe to take on the challenge.
But she is now stepping down to focus on her growing involvement with the LSEG and passing on the Tech City UK baton to global marketing lead of the BlackBerry World app store, Gerard Grech.
“There is incredible momentum in the UK tech and digital sector and I am delighted to welcome Gerard as our new CEO during this exciting time,” said Shields.
“The government has created a policy landscape that’s transformed the UK’s startup scene; our goal now is to build on these foundations and help growth-stage businesses scale rapidly and generate jobs.”
Despite her new responsibilities at the LSEG for driving forward the delivery of innovative technology solutions, Shields will stay on at Tech City UK as chairman – without pay – as well as keeping her government role as the UK ambassador for digital industries.
Grech, who will take on the role from 3 February 2013, lives in Shoreditch and has worked in the industry for over 15 years. As well as his latest job at BlackBerry, he has held posts at Nokia, Nokia Growth Partners and Orange.
“London has become a leading centre for digital innovation and entrepreneurship and my role, together with Joanna and the team, will be to help take things to the next level, delivering on key initiatives, introducing more partnerships and further solidifying Tech City in the international tech scene,” he said.