New Tech City CEO Joanna Shields says success will be gauged on targets

New Tech City CEO Joanna Shields says that London’s Tech City will have targets to prove its success.

New head: Joanna Shields took up the role of TCIO CEO in January

New head: Joanna Shields took up the role of TCIO CEO in January

Appearing on stage at the London Web Summit, Joanna Shields stressed the importance of start-ups in the UK.

Shields, former head of Europe for Facebook, believes that the Tech City initiative will be successful and listed a number of developments which prove it.

The arrival of Facebook’s engineering centre, Google’s shared office Campus and the creation of the London Stock Exchange’s High Growth Segment for technology companies were among her justifications.

Shields is six weeks into her new role having replaced former CEO Eric Van Der Kleij in January.

Commenting back in October 2012 when it was announced that she would be taking up the role, 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.

‘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.’

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As part of her interview on stage with the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Rooney at the Web Summit, Shields talked about her full-circle trip from her first job out of university the government in the US, through roles at Bebo and Facebook, to a public sector return with her role at the Tech City Investment Organisation.

Shields said that the technology movement in the UK is not confined to London and that ‘the boundaries are moving’.

She stressed that the UK digital economy is the fastest growing sector in the UK, currently standing at 11 per cent, and cited the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s conclusion that the UK is the best place for start-ups.’

‘Our success will be measured on how we address the needs of entrepreneurs,’ Shields added.