London, Oct. 21: One of Facebook’s most senior executives, Joanna Shields, is quitting the social media giant to join British Prime Minister David Cameron’s project to create a competitor to California’s Silicon Valley in East London.
Shields, the vice-president of Facebook who is responsible for business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is to become the new chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation.
According to the Telegraph, Shields said that she had always had a ‘passion’ for public policy and was keen to help the government.
Tech City is already home to 3,000 digital companies, most of them start-ups.
“There are not many opportunities where you know from day one you can contribute on a huge level,” Shields, the former chief executive of Bebo who was also a senior figure at Google, said.
“I think London is an extraordinary city. This is the gateway to the world. It should not be a step-child to other cities. It should be in its rightful place as the centre for innovation in my world, the digital industries,” she added.
According to the report, the move will be a blow for Facebook which faced criticism earlier this month for the small amount of tax it paid in the UK.
Shields also revealed that she had received a number of negative emails over the tax issue which were “not nice”.
She said that changing the listing rules in London – which the Government wants to do – would help keep technology companies in the UK, the report added. (ANI)