Top Facebook Executive joins London Tech City

Facebook’s European boss joins government plan to increase tech firms’ presence in London

Facebook’s European boss Joanna Shields is to take over as the Chief Executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation in January 2013.

Shields resigned from her job as Facebook Vice-President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa to take the role. The move is seen as a big coup for the UK Government as she was responsible for the largest growth in Facebook’s business since 2010 and was in charge of Bebo when the social network was sold to AOL for $850 million in addition to working for Google in a senior position.

“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” said Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Tech City Investment Organisation was set up in 2011 with the intent of raising the profile of UK technology companies and in particular start-ups but it hasn’t been without issues as it has been criticised for not publicising its events or services well enough. Those issues will hopefully be behind the organisation soon enough as it has enforced changes to improve its position starting with the hiring of Benjamin Southworth as deputy chief executive back in July who previously was part of 3Beards, a group behind several key industry events.