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12 September 2014
Briefing: People

Briefing: People

  Former Google executive Joanna Shields, currently chair of Tech City UK, was among the Conservative peers announced by Prime Minister David Cameron over the summer. Seven of the 12 new peers are women, including Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk. Also joining the House of Lords is Nosheena Mobarik, chair of CBI Scotland.

■  Edinburgh Napier photography and film graduate Peter Gerard has been made director of audience development and content operations at video sharing website Vimeo in New York. The appointment of Gerard, creator and founder of the online film distribution company Distrify, will be a boost to independent film makers.

■  Aberdeen businesswoman Jeanette Forbes has been appointed to the board of the Scottish Government’s Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership. The partnership was set up to support Scotland’s goal of becoming a world-class digital nation by 2020. Forbes, chief executive of IT service provider PCL Group, will sit on the board as the representative of the Government’s Technology Advisory Group which she joined last year.

■  After the retirement of David Clarke, Paul Fletcher took over in September as chief executive of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Fletcher joins the institute from RM plc where he was group managing director, education technology.

■  Law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has hired telecoms expert Gordon Moir from Webb Henderson where he worked with BT, Sky, Nominet and AT&T.

■  Dame Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the University of Southampton, was named as the most influential woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly magazine. Hall is founder – along with Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel J Weitzner – of the Web Science Research Initiative, a long-term research collaboration between the University of Southampton and MIT.

■  In the UK Government reshuffle, Ed Vaizey was made Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. He will handle the digital economy, digital entrepreneurship, cyber and business resilience, digital skills, the EU single digital market, senior relationship management of Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Huawei, and other digital industry companies, and co-chair the Smart Cities Forum.

■  A key figure behind the UK Coalition Government’s civil service reform programme is returning to the private sector. Stephen Kelly, the head of the efficiency reform group (ERG) and the Government’s chief operating officer, will leave in November to become the chief executive of software company Sage Group. Responsibility for the ERG will be given to the soon-to-be-recruited chief executive of the civil service.

 John Linwood, former chief technology officer at the BBC, was unfairly dismissed by the broadcaster over his work leading a £100m Digital Media Initiative (DMI) that has since been abandoned, a tribunal concluded. 

■  Former Credit Suisse chief information officer Magnus Falk has been appointed as deputy to the UK Government’s chief technology officer Liam Maxwell. The Cabinet Office said that more than a hundred technology experts have been brought into government departments over the last year to help drive the digital transformation of public services.

■  Professor Paul Harris has been appointed Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee. He was previously head of Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, and creative director of the Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games at the University of Abertay, Dundee.

■  The former global sector leader for healthcare at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Russ Rudish, has been appointed to the board of Edinburgh-based health software specialist Craneware as a non-executive director.

■  Edinburgh technology consultancy FarrPoint has appointed Neil Anderson as security director. Anderson will also be the lead for FarrPoint on the knowledge transfer partnership with Edinburgh Napier University which will explore new ways of identifying cyber security threats.

■  Leslie Benzies, president of Edinburgh-based Rockstar North, makers of Grand Theft Auto, was reported to be buying St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge. A spokesman for Benzies told The Scotsman that it was “an entirely philanthropic purchase” because of the building’s importance to the local community and its historic value; designed by architect William Henry Playfair, St Stephen’s is described as one of the most important Georgian buildings in the New Town.

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