Page 3 Profile: Joanna Shields Digital media executive


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The Independent Culture

The new Marissa Mayer?

Could be. Joanna Shields certainly seems to hold similar clout in the male-dominated world of digital media as Yahoo's CEO. Not only was she named the sixth most influential person in global media by Media Guardian, but the Veep and MD of Facebook has now been recruited to spearhead the UK's answer to Silicon Valley – "Silicon Roundabout".

So Scotland has its Silicon Glen, California has Silicon Valley and London gets a roundabout? It's a little underwhelming...

You have a point, Silicon Roundabout, a cluster of tech firms around the Old Street roundabout in east London, was reportedly suffering from a lack of big brains earlier this year. News that Shields will jump the Facebook ship in January and join the government initiative Tech City Investment Organisation as its chief executive is an attempt to change that.

Ah, so a bit of a government coup?

Looks that way. Shields brings with her bags of experience and could just be the person to help Britain succeed in its push to become a digital and technological rival to the US. Colleagues have described the 50-year-old as a "fast-moving deal machine" and the government itself seems to be feeling pretty smug about getting Shields on board.