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Top Facebook exec quits to join British Tech City

LONDON--Joanna Shields, head of social media group Facebook's operations in Europe, is leaving to join a British government-sponsored venture to create London's answer to Silicon Valley.

Tech City Investment Organisation was set up in April 2011 to attract inward investment focused on an area in London's east End, dubbed “silicon roundabout” and supporting start-ups looking to expand.

It has signed up companies including Cisco, Google and Intel.

Shields, will join TCIO in January, said she would lead a drive that hopes to make London the number one location for tech in the world.

Her departure will be a blow to Facebook, the world's biggest social network, as the U.S. group seeks to reassure shareholders after a rough reception on Wall Street since its high profile listing in May.

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