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Facebook Executive Jumps Ship To U.K.’s Silicon Roundabout

Mark Zuckerberg’s loss is the British Government’s gain, as it looks to Joanna Shields to spearhead the U.K.s Tech City Initiative.

Facebook Executive Jumps Ship To U.K.’s Silicon Roundabout

Facebook just lost its MD of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, to the British Government. Joanna Shields will be starting as head of the Tech City Investment Organisation in January, and all for a £115,000 salary. “I was ready for a change and I felt that public service might be that change,” she told the Sunday Telegraph yesterday.

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Shields’ role will be a tough one. As well as looking after VCs and other potential investors, she will be trying to attract foreign funds for startups, encouraging legal firms to use their expertise and join the melee, and making sure that the best of homegrown–and overseas–talent makes the leap from British universities to these nascent businesses. There is one fly in the ointment, though: The snail-like pace of the British civil service may make Shields’ hanker for a return to the private sector.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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