Tech North, a government-funded agency tasked with boosting the tech sector in the North of England, has appointed veteran marketer Richard Gregory as its new leader.
Gregory joins Tech North after 12 years at Latitude Digital Marketing, where he served as COO for 10 years and as MD for two years. Gregory is also a council member of the Manchester Digital organisation and the founder of SASCon Ventures, which holds an annual tech conference on search, analytics and social.
Tech North met with Gregory nine times before making him the job offer because it “really wanted to get this appointment right,” according to Herb Kim, who has been acting as interim head of Tech North. “After searching far and wide, I’m extremely happy to announce that Richard Gregory has been appointed as the new Director of Tech North,” wrote Kim on the Tech North website.
Tech North came about as part of former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s Northern Powerhouse initiative and is funded with £2 million in taxpayer money each year.
According to Kim, Gregory had the following to say about joining the organisation:
“Tech North is an organisation with a vital mission and I look forward to using my private-sector experience to build on the team’s great work.
“With the events of the past week, the need for Tech North to support the Northern tech community has never been greater. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ll be sharing more about our plans for the future of Tech North at a series of events across the region in mid-July. More details about these will be announced shortly.”
Gregory’s appointment comes six months after former head Claire Braithwaite stepped down, with multiple sources saying tensions had formed between her and Tech City UK, which oversees Tech North, over a lack of autonomy.
When asked about Braithwaite’s resignation last week, Gerard Grech, head of Tech City UK, told Business Insider: “She decided to resign. What I would say is Tech North has always been part of Tech City and that has not changed. Tech North continues to deliver Northern specific initiatives for the north, within the context of Tech City.”
Gregory starts on Monday 11 July.