THE HIRING of advisers by Just-Eat sounds like good news for Joanna Shields. In a surprise announcement at the end of last week, the former Facebook exec said she is becoming a non-executive director at London Stock Exchange Group, which is hungry for tech listings.
She is stepping down as the chief executive of Tech City after little more than a year in the role. However, Shields, who was Facebook’s head of Europe, is keeping one foot in Silicon Roundabout, moving up to be chairman of Tech City. That makes sense for her and the LSE, which is keen to woo London’s would-be Zuckerbergs. The area around Old Street is buzzing with startups but they have shown an alarming tendency to favour New York’s Nasdaq – Candy Crush creator King.com being a recent example.
Luckily, this year’s revival in the London IPO market seems to be breaking the trend of tech emigres as well. Property website Zoopla is another possible contender for a London listing. And if Just-Eat gets out of the blocks soon it will mean Shields has a fresh example to encourage others to follow suit.
The next question is whether it will take advantage of the new high-growth segment specially created last year to encourage firms like this to choose London. No one has yet signed up, but perhaps Just-Eat can deliver.