Joanna Shields steps down from Tech City post


by Joe Curtis| 17 January 2014

Blackberry marketing boss Gerard Grech due to take on CEO role.

Tech City boss Joanna Shields is set to step down from the role she has held for just 15 months.

Blackberry's global marketing head Gerard Grech will succeed the ex-Google Europe MD in leading the government quango, set up in 2011 to promote growth in London's startup scene.

The move had been heavily rumoured, but was only confirmed this morning on Tech City UK's Twitter account, which added that the former MD of Facebook EMEA would continue as the organisation's chair.

Shields, who now takes up an appointment as a non-exec director of the London Stock Exchange, said in a statement: "I will continue to champion the UK's digital industry as chairman of Tech City UK and in my role as business ambassador.

"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."

Of Grech, who is due to take on the role from February 3, Shields, who left Facebook to join Tech City in October 2012, said: "I am delighted to welcome Gerard as our new CEO during this exciting time.

"He is an east London resident who's had a front row seat in the evolution of web and mobile platforms over the past decade. He brings a strong combination of startup and corporate development knowledge to the team plus many years experience in developing and marketing digital products and services."

Grech added: "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.

"As a Shoreditch resident, I'm especially keen that our initiatives serve the wider local community, keeping the ground fertile for the next wave of digital start-ups."

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