Feeds

Tech City UK boss legs it, dumps project in lap of BlackBerry exec

Why be a CEO when there's a non-exec directorship up for grabs elsewhere?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Joanna Shields has jacked in her £115,000 job as CEO of Tech City UK to join the London Stock Exchange Group.

She will be replaced by Gerard Grech, who currently heads up global marketing at BlackBerry World.

Shields was awarded an OBE last year for trying to turn Old Street Roundabout into a gleaming hub of tech entrepreneurism, rather than just a nasty old traffic feature in a dilapidated East London backwater.

She spent just over 18 months attempting this, before breaking and running to the London Stock Exchange Group, taking up a non-executive director's post.

In a letter to staff which was leaked on Twitter, Shields wrote: "We have come a long way in three years and there is incredible momentum underway. Our challenge now is to build on these strong foundations and ensure that entrepreneurs and their investors continue to see the UK as the best place in the world to imagine, start and grow a digital business."

She said her replacement was a "Shoreditch local" who brings "a strong combination of startup and corporate experience" to Tech City.

Shields also claimed that the number of tech firms in London has increased by 76 per cent between 2009 to 2012, with the capital's tech sector in general swelling by 17 per cent in the same period. However, considering the government is keen to label PR firms, travel agents and even food shops as digital businesses, these figures may need a thorough salting before consumption.

Nonetheless, the new Tech City CEO is delighted about his new job.

“Tech City is a blueprint for what can be achieved when the right people and the right policies work together,” Grech said. “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."

Sadly, our own Steve Bong does not appear to have been considered for the job, despite his love of East-End manufactured artisanal tripe and the friendship with Russell Brand, the "post-profit humble Christ of startups".

We contacted Bong for comment but his assistant มาลัย (which means "Garland of Flowers" in Thai) told us he is preparing for the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.

He'll be filing his Reg column from there, we're told. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.