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Ministers poach Facebook chief
The Government has poached a top Facebook executive to head up its Tech City investment group
The Government has poached a top Facebook executive to head up its Tech City investment group in east London and work as a business ambassador, the Prime Minister has revealed.
Joanna Shields, currently a Facebook vice-president and managing director Europe, Middle East and Africa, will take up the chief executive role in the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) in January.
Created in 2011, TCIO is aimed at supporting the hi-tech companies clustered around the so-called Silicon Roundabout in London. Alongside start-up companies, Google, Intel, Cisco, General Assembly, University College London and Imperial College London all have premises in the area.
David Cameron said he was "delighted" by the appointment, and added: "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."
Ms Shields said: "Working in the UK for the past decade has proven to me that this country has the potential to become a major force in digital innovation.
"I'm thrilled to be taking this position at the Tech City Investment Organisation and proud to be a Business Ambassador for the UK for Digital Industries.
"Throughout my career I have had the privilege of working with great entrepreneurs and innovators to create thriving new businesses and industries.
"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."
TCIO was set up in April 2011 as part of UK Trade and Investment to help by attracting inward investment and supporting companies in the cluster who want to expand into international markets.