Managing Director of Facebook's operations in Europe, Joanna Shields, has resigned from the social network in favour of serving as the new CEO of London's Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO).
As part of the government's efforts in turning Shoreditch's Old Street roundabout into the UK equivalent of Silicon Valley, the new role will see Shields help promote East London as the European heart of tech startups.
Due to commence her new role in January 2013, the move sees Shields replace South African entrepreneur Eric van der Kleij as well as become chairman of Tech City Advisory Group and business ambassador for Digital Industries. Her impressive track record with companies such as AOL and Google will be a huge boost for the government, and with 3,500 enterprises already setting up shop at Silicon Roundabout, it is hoped that Ms Shields' appointment will help raise the profile of Tech City and attract more businesses.
"I'm delighted that Joanna is joining the Tech City Investment Organisation," said prime minister David Cameron in a statement.
"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."
Named as last year's "Most Influential Person in European Technology" as well as the sixth most influential individual in global media of 2012, there's certainly a lot of pressure on Ms Shields to live up to her outstanding accolades - but after working in the UK for the past ten years, Shields believes that the country has 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," she explained.
"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," Shields said.
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